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Satyrus of Milan, St.


Younger brother of St. ambrose of Milan; b. Trier, Germany, ca. a.d. 340; d. Milan, Italy, a.d. 375. Uranius Satyrus, following the death of his father, was brought to Rome, along with Ambrose and their sister (St.) Marcellina, by his mother, and was educated there. Although he never enjoyed robust health, he entered, and rose rapidly in, the imperial service. But after the election of Ambrose as bishop of Milan, Satyrus resigned his post in order to administer the family property and free his brother from the temporal cares of his episcopal household and diocese. He suffered shipwreck and exposure on a return voyage from Africa, whither he had gone on family business, and died shortly afterward. Before leaping into the sea, he had received a particle of the Holy Eucharist from a fellow voyager and wrapped it in a scarf about his neck. Although a man of the highest integrity and blameless life, he was still a catechumen at this time and was baptized only after his return to Milan.

The chief source for the career and character of Satyrus is the first oration of St. Ambrose, On the Death of His Brother. The second oration is less personal, and is rather a treatise of consolation based on faith and the Resurrection.

Feast: Sept. 17.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum Sept. 5:496505. ambrose, De excessu fratris 12, ed. o. faller, Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum 73 (1955) 207325. l. p. mccauley et al., trs, Funeral Orations by Saint Gregory Nazianzen and Saint Ambrose (Fathers of the Church; New York 1953) 157254. f. h. dudden, The Life and Times of St. Ambrose, 2 v. (Oxford 1935), esp. 1:177184.

[m. r. p. mcguire]

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