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Saint Ambrose (Ambrosius)

Born: 340 AD
Died: 397 AD, at 57 years of age.

Nationality: Italian
Categories: Bishops


340 - Saint Ambrose, (Latin: Sanctus Ambrosius, "Ambrosius episcopus Mediolanensis"; Italian: Sant'Ambrogio; Lombard: Sant'Ambroeus), bishop of Milan (Mediolanum in Latin), was one of the most eminent bishops of the 4th century was born.

372 - Was highly regarded as governor and popular pressure resulted in his appointment .

374 - Proclaimed as Bishop, although he was reluctant and lacked religious training. After much study he became the chief Catholic opponent of Arianism in the West. He was adviser to Emperor Gratian, whom he persuaded to outlaw.

379 - Firmly refused the demands of Justina and the young Emperor Valentinian II to surrender a church of his diocese to the Arians. “The Emperor,” he preached, “is in the Church, not above it.” He excommunicated Theodosius I for the massacre at Salonica.

390 - Imposed a heavy public penance on him before reinstating him. Ambrose's eloquent preaching spurred the conversion of St. Augustine. His writings have come down to us largely from his hearers. They reveal wide classical learning, knowledge of patristic literature, and a Roman bent toward the ethical and practical. Of his formal works, On the Duties of the Clergy (De officiis ministrorum) shows the influence of Cicero; On the Christian Faith (De fide) was written at Gratian's request. Ambrose's method of biblical interpretation was allegorical, following Philo and Origen. About 386 he arranged hymns and psalms for the congregation to sing antiphonally. A plainsong called Ambrosian chant is attached to his name. His hymns, written in the iambic dimeter that became standard in Western hymnody, were widely imitated. Only a few are extant. The Ambrosian Rite used in Milan today is probably a development of a liturgy Ambrose introduced.

392 - After the assassination of Valentinian and the usurpation of Eugenius, Ambrose fled from Milan; but when Theodosius was eventually victorious, he supplicated the emperor for the pardon of those who had supported Eugenius. Soon after acquiring the undisputed possession of the Roman empire.

397 - Two years after Theodosius died at Milan, Ambrose also passed away on the 4th of April. He was succeeded by Simplician.


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