Advent: December 7th
Around the year 333, Ambrose was born at Trier, the child of a noble
Roman family. After his father's death, he went to Rome and was soon
appointed consul with residence at Milan. While attempting to settle
a dispute between the Arians and Catholics over the choice of a
bishop, he himself was chosen, although only a catechumen at the
time. Thereupon he devoted himself wholeheartedly to the study of
theology and gave his possessions to the poor. He was an illustrious
preacher, and through his sermons brought Augustine to the faith and
Candid and fearless no matter how strong the opposition, Ambrose was
directed to confront Maximus, the murderer of the Emperor Gratian.
When Maximus refused to do penance, Ambrose excommunicated him.
Later, he denied Emperor Theodosius entrance into church for his
massacre of the inhabitants of Thessalonica. It was on this occasion
that allusion was made to [King] David as a murderer and adulterer,
and Ambrose retorted: "You have followed him in sin, now follow him
in repentance." Humbly, Theodosius accepted the penance imposed.
St. Ambrose is one of the four great Latin Doctors of the Church.
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch