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Church Fathers
Crossroads Initiatitve, a ministry of Dr. Marcellino

   D'Ambrosio        
 
 
 

St. Ambrose of Milan

 

Saint Ambrose of Milan, Early Church Father, Doctor of the ChurchSt. Ambrose of Milan: Biography and Selected Online Writings

Early Church Father and Doctor of the Church

 

by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.

 

St. Ambrose of Milan's life (Sant Ambroggio de Milano in Italian) is a particularly fascinating story.  St. Ambrose was born around 339 in what is now France, the son of the Roman prefect of Gaul.  Following his his father's footsteps, Ambrose embarked upon a career in law and politics and by 370 AD, he had become the Imperial governor of Northern Italy.  When the episcopal see of Milan became vacant in 374, the people demanded that Saint Ambrose be made their bishop.  The neighboring bishops and the Emperor convinced him to accept this call as the will of God, and so the catechumen Ambrose was baptized and ordained first deacon, then priest, then bishop, all in a single week!

 

This politician-turned churchman was profoundly aware of his lack of preparation for this great responsibility and so set himself immediately to prayer and the study of Scripture.  His deep spirituality and love of God's Word married together with the oratorical skill acquired in law and politics made St. Ambrose one of the greatest preachers of the early church. 

 

St. Ambrose proved to be a fierce opponent of heresy, paganism, and hypocrisy.  He battled to preserve the independence of the Church from the state and courageously excommunicated the powerful Catholic Emperor Theodosius I for a massacre of innocent civilians in Thessalonica.  St. Ambrose also had a significant impact on sacred music through the composition of hymns and psalm tones that are known to this day as Ambrosian chant.  Besides numerous sermons and treatises on the spiritual life, Saint Ambrose is responsible for two of the first great theological works written in Latin, De Sacramentis on the Sacraments and De Spiritu Sancto on the Holy Spirit.

 

Around 385, an ambitious professor of public speaking named Augustine came to hear Saint Ambrose preach in order to study his technique, and in the process, was attracted to the Catholic faith.  In 386 Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose and went on to become bishop of Hippo in North Africa.  Ambrose and his pupil, Augustine, together with St. Jerome and St. Gregory the Great, make up the four original Doctors of the Latin Church.  Saint Ambrose, the great bishop of Milan, died on Holy Saturday (April 4) in the year 397 AD.  His feastday in the Roman calendar is December 7, the day he was ordained bishop.

 

From the Roman liturgy for the Feast of St. Ambrose: "Lord, you made Saint Ambrose an outstanding teacher of the Catholic faith and gave him the courage of an apostle.  Raise up iin your Church more leaders after your own heart, to guide us with courage and wisdom.  We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.  Amen."


The Fathers of the Church - Who They Are and Why They MatterFathers of the Church Early Church Fathers CD by Marcellino D'Ambrosio

In a single, upbeat talk, full of examples and fascinating stories about St. Ambrose and other intriguing personalities, Marcellino D'Ambrosio explains who people are talking about when they refer to the "Fathers of the Church" or "Early Church Fathers.  Though the ranks of the fathers include a tremendous variety of cultures, locales, and personalities, there is surprising consensus that emerges from them on a variety of the most pressing questions of our day.  In this dynamic talk, Marcellino makes clear just how much these figures have to teach us. 



Title Category Excerpt Download
Advice on Prayer-Ambrose of Milan Prayer and Spirituality Yes Download
Advice to Pastors--St. Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Virtues & Christian Character
Yes Download
Agnes Virgin & Martyr-St. Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Catholic Saints
Yes Download
Book of the Psalms-Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Catholic Bible Study
Yes Download
Born Again in Water and the Spirit-Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Baptism
Yes
Bride of Christ - St. Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Blessed Virgin Mary
Yes
Chrism and White Garments-St Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Liturgy and 7 Sacraments,
Baptism,
Confirmation
Yes
Coheirs with Christ-Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Catholic Bible Study
Yes
Death and Dying-St. Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Heaven,
Hell,
Purgatory,
2nd Coming of Christ
Yes Download
Eucharist True Body of Christ, Heavenly Manna -- St. Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Liturgy and 7 Sacraments,
Eucharist
Yes
God is Our Refuge-St. Ambrose Lenten Season and Holy Week Resources,
Early Church Fathers
Yes Download
Mary's Visitation of Elizabeth-St. Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Advent & Christmas Season Resources & Readings,
Blessed Virgin Mary
Yes Download
Meditate on God's Wisdom - St. Ambrose Catholic Bible Study Yes
On the Holy Spirit, Book 2-St Ambrose of Milan Early Church Fathers,
Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit
No
On the Holy Spirit, Book 3-St Ambrose of Milan Early Church Fathers,
Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit
No
On the Holy Spirit, Book I-St Ambrose of Milan Early Church Fathers,
Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit
No
On the Mysteries-St Ambrose on the Sacraments Early Church Fathers,
Liturgy and 7 Sacraments
No
Post-baptismal Rites-Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Baptism,
Confirmation
Yes
Power of the Waters of Baptism -- St. Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Liturgy and 7 Sacraments,
Baptism
Yes
Prefigurations of Baptism in Scripture-Ambrose Baptism,
Catholic Bible Study
Yes
Preparation for Baptism -- St. Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Liturgy and 7 Sacraments,
Baptism
Yes
Psalms the Music of Heaven-Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Catholic Bible Study
Yes Download
Rejoice in the Lord Always-Ambrose Catholic Bible Study Yes
Saint Lucy and the Radiance of Virginity- St. Ambrose Advent & Christmas Season Resources & Readings,
Catholic Saints
Yes
Seek Him Whom Your Heart Loves -- St. Ambrose Prayer and Spirituality Yes
The Holy Spirit, River of Grace Early Church Fathers,
Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit
No
This is My Body -- St. Ambrose, Transubstantiation & Eucharistic Consecration Early Church Fathers,
Eucharist
Yes Download
Why do you turn your face away?-Ambrose Early Church Fathers,
Catholic Bible Study
Yes

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