Feast Day: December 07
Born: 340 :: Died: 397
Ambrose was born at Augusta Treverorum in the Roman Empire which today is the town of Trier in Germany.
He was the son of Aurelius Ambrosius the Roman governor of Gaul. When his father died, his mother took her family back to Rome. She and her daughter, St. Marcellina, brought Ambrose up well.
He became an excellent lawyer and was then made governor of Milan and the territory around it. But by a strange event, Ambrose the governor became Ambrose the bishop.
When the Bishop of Milan died, there was a big quarrel between the Arians and the Catholics in the Cathedral about who would become the next bishop. Ambrose quickly went to the Church and gave a speech begging both sides to stop fighting and make peace.
In those days the people used to suggest to the pope the name of the one they would like as bishop. To Ambrose's great surprise, the people of Milan were so impressed with his efforts to make peace that they immediately chose him as bishop.
He tried to escape, but it seemed to be God's will and Ambrose became a priest and then bishop of Milan.
Ambrose was a great model and father to his people. He also resisted all evil with amazing courage. He faced an attacking army and convinced the leader to turn back.
Another time, Emperor Theodosius came from the east. He wanted to save Italy from invaders and asked all his officers to respect the bishop of Milan.
But when this emperor committed a very serious sin, Ambrose immediately told him that he did wrong. He asked Theodosius do public penance. The emperor did not get angry but realized that the saint was right. Very humbly he publicly made penance for his sin.
Ambrose had shown the world that no human being, even if he or she is the Emperor, is higher than the Church and that everyone was the same in the eyes of God.
People were afraid of what would happen to Italy when Ambrose died. When he became sick, they begged him to pray for a longer life.
The saint replied, "I have not behaved myself among you in such a way that I should be ashamed to live longer; nor am I afraid to die, for we have a good Master."
Bishop Ambrose died on Good Friday in the year 397.
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