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    December 7: St. Ambrose’s feast day

    On December 7, we celebrate the feast of St. Ambrose, a founding saint of the Catholic intellectual tradition. He was a bishop of Milan and the author of the Advent hymn ‘Veni redemptor gentium’. He is recognized for his scholarship and service to the Church.

    St. Ambrose, the brilliant Bishop of Milan influenced St. Augustine’s conversion and was named a Doctor of the Church. Like Augustine himself, the older Ambrose, born around 340, was a highly educated man who sought to harmonize Greek and Roman intellectual culture with the Catholic faith. Trained in literature, law, and rhetoric, he eventually became the governor of Liguria and Emilia, with headquarters at Milan. He manifested his intellectual gifts in defense of Christian doctrine even before his baptism.

    Catholic News Agency

    Legends about St. Ambrose had spread through the empire long before his biography was written, making it difficult for modern historians to understand his true character and fairly place his behavior within the context of antiquity. Most agree he was the personification of his era. This would make Ambrose a genuinely spiritual man who spoke up and defended his faith against opponents, an aristocrat who retained many of the attitudes and practices of a Roman governor, and also an ascetic who served the poor.

    St. Ambrose was primarily a priest, but he also left behind many writings, mostly on moral-ascetic and catechetical themes. He also was the author of many sermons, speeches, lliturgical hymns and the organizer of church singing.

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