Ambrose of Milan

Matthias Stom - St Ambrose - WGA21804
Feast Day: December 7
Canonized: Pre-Congregation

God gave many talents to Saint Ambrose. He used them to keep the Church true to God's Word. In 340 AD, Ambrose was born in Trier, one of Germany's oldest cities. His father served there as an important Roman soldier. When he grew up, Ambrose became a lawyer and was the governor of Milan in Italy.

In 374, the bishop of Milan died and the people urged that Ambrose be named bishop, even though he was not even a priest. He tried to escape the responsibility, but even the emperor pushed him to accept it. He gave away his possessions and began to study Scripture and theology.

At that time, a group of Christians known as Arians were saying that Jesus was not equal to God. But Ambrose believed that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are equal. So he began to speak out against Arianism, which denied the Trinity. Eventually the Church declared Arianism as false doctrine. After the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople, the Church formally professed her faith in the Nicene Creed.

For many years, Ambrose defended the faith of the Church and spread the Gospel. God had called him to do many things for the Church. For example, Ambrose wrote hymns in a new way. These songs influenced other Christian songwriters. Ambrose also spoke out against anyone who did not follow the Gospels. Once the emperor put 7,000 people to death because one person killed a Roman governor. Ambrose made the emperor do public penance for his sin.

Ambrose led an active life and died at age 57 in 397. As a bishop of the early Church he worked to protect her beliefs. Because of his love for Christ and significant influence in spreading the Gospel, the Church declared Saint Ambrose a Doctor of the Church.