December 7 - Saint Ambrose of Milan

Quick Facts
  • Roman nobility.
  • Brother of Saint Marcellina and Saint Satyrus.
  • Educated in the classics, Greek, and philosophy at Rome.Poet and noted orator.
  • Convert.
  • Governor of Milan.
  • When the bishop of Milan died, a dispute over his replacement was leading to violence.
  • Ambrose intervened to calm both sides; he impressed everyone involved so much that while he was still an unbaptized catechuman, he was chosen to fill the see.
  • He resisted, claiming that he was not worthy, but to prevent further violence, he assented, and on 7 December 374 he was baptized, ordained as a priest, and consecrated as bishop.
  • He immediately gave away his wealth to the Church and the poor both for the good it did, and as an example to his flock.
  • Preacher, teacher, bible student of renown, and writer of liturgical hymns.
  • He stood firm against pagans and Arians.His preaching helped convert Saint Augustine of Hippo, whom Ambrose baptized and brought into the Church.
  • Ambrose's preaching brought Emporer Theodosius to do public penance for his sins.
  • He called and chaired several theological councils during his time as bishop, many devoted to fighting heresy.
  • Welcomed Saint Ursus and Saint Alban of Mainz when they fled Naxos to escape Arian persecution, and then sent them on to evangelize in Gaul and Germany.
  • Proclaimed a great Doctor of the Latin Church by Pope Boniface VIII in 1298.
  • The title ""Honey Tongued Doctor,"" initially bestowed because of his speaking and preaching ability, led to the use of a beehive and bees in his iconography, symbols which also indicate wisdom.
  • This led to his association with bees, beekeepers, chandlers, wax refiners.