Ambrose

Today is the feast of Saint Ambrose  (around 337-397).

 

He was involved in civic administration in the Roman Empire in the region of Northern Italy. This was the time of the Arian heresy. The Arians denied the Divinity of Christ (similar to the Jehovah Witnesses of our time).

 

There was a lot of tension between the different Christian groups at this time.

The Bishopric of Milan became vacant in 372. He worked hard to bring peace between the various groups over the appointment of the new Bishop.

 

The people turned on him to be their new Bishop. He was a layman and still a catechumen i.e. not yet Baptised.

 

He accepted under pressure from the people and even the emperor!

 

Ambrose was Baptised, ordained and installed as Bishop all within a week!!

 

He took his role seriously. He gave all his possessions away and led a simple life. He learnt theology and being highly intelligent was a great teacher of the Faith.

 

He was a strong and prudent Bishop.

Ambrose was a compassionate and committed Pastor.

 

He was not impressed by status even correcting the emperor when he did wrong.

 

He strongly attacked the Arian heresy.

However, he did so with learning, fairness and gentleness.

 

He was a key figure in the conversion of Saint Augustine. He impressed him with his intelligence and learning.

He died on Holy Saturday 397.

 

We can learn so much from this holy man.

 

It is so important to be properly informed about our Faith. He knew his Catholic Faith and lived it. When he dealt with heresy he did so with both firmness and clarity as well as with gentleness.

 

He allowed God to take charge of his life, prepared to make major lifestyle and direction changes.

He lived simply.

 

He combined learning, compassion, holiness, clarity and wise courageous committed leadership.

 

 

 

 

Image credit: catholicsaints.info