Ambrose, St

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Ambrose, St (c.339–97). Bishop of Milan. He was trained in rhetoric and law, and assumed the see in c.374, after having been civil governor. He was famous as a preacher and champion of orthodoxy (e.g. against the Arians). He was a strong advocate of monasticism, writing on asceticism, and also interpreting Eastern theology for the West. He is one of the four original Doctors of the W. Church. Feast day, usually 7 Dec.

Ambrose, St

views updated May 23 2018

Ambrose, St (c.339–97), Doctor of the Church and bishop of Milan. A champion of orthodoxy, he also encouraged developments in church music. He was partly responsible for the conversion of St Augustine of Hippo, and forced the emperor Theodosius to do public penance for a massacre carried out on his orders at Thessalonica; for this Ambrose is sometimes shown with a scourge.

In the Confessions of St Augustine, he is noted as reading silently to himself rather than aloud: ‘When he was reading, he drew his eyes along over the leaves, and his heart searched into the sense, but his voice and tongue were silent.’

According to legend, when he was a child a swarm of bees settled on his mouth, symbolizing his future eloquence. His emblems are a beehive and a scourge, and his feast day is 7 December.

Ambrose, Saint

views updated May 17 2018

Ambrose, Saint (c.339–97) Roman cleric who, as Bishop of Milan from 374, resisted demands to surrender Milan's churches to the Arians and refused to compromise his orthodox position. He was the author of works on theology and ethics that greatly influenced the thought of the Western Church. His feast day is December 7. See also Arianism

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Saint Ambrose

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