HOME

 WRITE TO ME

NEIL'S WEBSITE

AJIT'S WEB SITE

 

 

Chapter TEN

HAGIOGRAPHY

 Lives of the Saints

Compiled by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, 1275

First Edition Published 1470

 http://catholicapologetics.info/library/onlinelibrary/vol3.html#Ambrose

Here followeth of S. Ambrose,
 

First the interpretation of his name.

 

am·ber: hard translucent fossilized resin produced by extinct coniferous trees of the Tertiary period, typically yellowish in color.

        a honey-yellow color typical of amber.

        a yellow light used as a cautionary signal between green for “go” and red for “stop”.

Amber is fossilized tree resin, which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Much valued from antiquity to the present as a gemstone, amber is made into a variety of decorative objects. Amber is used in jewelry.

Ambrose is said of a stone named ambra, which is much sweet, odorant and precious, and also it is much precious in the church, and much sweet smelling in deeds and in words. Or Ambrose may be said of ambra and syos which is as much to say as God, for Ambrose is as much to say as amber of God, for Ambrose felt God in him, and God was smelled and odoured by him over all where as he was. Or he was said of ambor in Greek, which is to say as father of light, and of sior, that is a little child that is a father of many sons by spiritual generation, clear and full of light in exposition of holy Scripture, and was little in his humble conversation. Or thus as is said in the glossary, Ambrose is odour and savour celestial, he was odour of heaven by great renomee smelling, savour by contemplation within him, an honeycomb by sweet exposition of scriptures, meat of angels by his glorious life. And Paulinus, bishop of Volusian, wrote his life unto S. Austin.

 

Of the Life of S. Ambrose.

Ambrose and the bees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S.Ambrose was son of Ambrose, provost of Rome, of whom it happed as he lay in his cradle in the hall of the pretorium, that there came a swarm of bees which fell on his visage and his mouth, and after, they departed and flew up in the air so high that they might not be seen. When this was done, the father, which was hereof dismayed, said: If this child live, there shall be some great thing of him.

Kissing the Priests Hand
After, when he was a little grown, he beheld his mother and his sister, who were a sacred virgins, kiss the priests' hand when they offered, and he playing with his sister put forth his hand for to kiss, and said that so behoved her to do to him. And she, not understanding him, refused it.

Fair Virgin of the Empresss and Ambros
It happed after that, when S. Ambrose went to another city to the election of a bishop, Justina the empress, and others of the sect of the Arians would not consent to the good christian men, but would have one of their sect. Then one of the virgins of the empress, much fair, took S. Ambrose and drew him by his vestments and would have made him to be beaten because he would not hold the party of the women. Then S. Ambrose said to her: If I be not worthy to be a bishop, yet thou oughtest not to lay hand upon me ne none other bishop, thou hast laid hand on me, thou oughtest much redoubt and dread the judgment of God. And therefore God confirmed his sentence on her, for the next day she was borne to her grave and was dead. Thus was she rewarded for the villainy that she had done, and all the other were thereby sore afraid.

Attempt to Exile Ambrose in a Cart
After this, when he was returned to Milan he suffered many assaults and persecutions of the empress Justina, for she moved, by gifts and by honours, much people against S. Ambrose, and many there were that enforced them to send him in exile, and among all others there was one mounted in so great madness and fury against him, that he hired him an house by the church because he would have therein a cart for to set S. Ambrose thereon and lead him in to exile. But that same fell to him, for he himself was sent in exile in the same cart the same day that he would have led away S. Ambrose. To whom yet S. Ambrose did good for evil, for he ministered to him his costs and necessaries.

S. Ambrose also established in the church, song and offices at Milan first.

Tormented Arian
There were at that time in Milan many men vexed and beset with devils, which cried with high voice that S. Ambrose tormented them thus, but the empress Justina and the Arians said that S. Ambrose made them to say so for money that he gave to them. Then it happed that one of the Arians was out of his mind and said thus: Be they all tormented as I am that consent not to S. Ambrose, and therefore the other Arians drowned him in a deep piscine or pit.


An Angel dictating sermon to Ambrose at his ear.

There was another heretic and an Arian, a sharp man and so hard that he was inconvertible, because no man might convert him to the faith. On a time he heard S. Ambrose preach, and he saw at his ear an angel that told him all that he preached, and when he had perceived this he began to sustain the faith to which he had been contrary

The Enchanter and Tormentor

After this it happed that an enchanter called devils to him and sent them to S. Ambrose for to annoy and grieve him, but the devils returned and said that they might not approach to his gate because there was a great fire all about his house. And this enchanter, after, when he was tormented of the provost for certain trespasses, he cried and said that he was tormented of S. Ambrose.

Devil refused to enter the city of Milan

There was a man that had a devil within him, and after went to Milan, and anon, as he entered the city, the devil left him, and as soon as he went out of the city the devil re-entered in him again. Then he demanded him why he did so, and he answered because he was afeard of Ambrose.

Ambrose tormenteth none

After, it happed that a man being conducted and hired of Justina the empress, went to the bedside of S. Ambrose and would have put and riven his sword through his body, but anon his arm was dried up. Another that was vexed with a devil said that S. Ambrose tormented him, but S. Ambrose made him to be still, for Ambrose tormenteth none, but that doth the envy of thee, for thou seest men ascend from whence thou art fallen, and that is it which tormenteth thee, for Ambrose cannot be so blown and swollen as thou art; then was he still and spake not.

Man who laughed at his friend's fall
When S. Ambrose went into the town he saw a man laugh because he saw another fall, then said Ambrose to him: Thou that laughest, beware that thou fall not also, and after he fell, and thus was he taught that he should not mock his fellow.

Thou shalt not enter the Church, yet shall the gates be open.

On a time S. Ambrose went unto the palace for to pray for a poor man, but the judge made to close the gate that he might not enter in; then S. Ambrose said: Thou shalt come for to enter into the church, but thou shalt not enter, and yet shall the gates be open. And so it happed that after, the judge doubted his enemies and went to the church, but he might not enter in, and yet the gates were open.

Fasting of Ambrose and its effects

S. Ambrose was of so great abstinence that he fasted every day save the Sunday or a solemn feast. He was of so great largess that he gave all to poor people and retained nothing for himself. He was of so great compassion that when any confessed to him his sin, he wept so bitterly that he would make the sinner to weep. He was of so great doubt that, when it was told to him of the death of any bishop, he would weep so sore that unnethe he might be comforted, and when it was demanded him why he wept for the death of good men, for he ought better to make joy because they went to heaven, then he answered: I weep not because they go tofore me, but because that unnethe and with great pain may any be found for to do well such offices. He was of so great steadfastness and so established in his purpose that he would not leave, for dread ne for grief that might be done to him, to reprove the emperor ne the other great men when they did things that they ought not to do, ne he would flatter no man. There was brought once tofore him a man which was grievously mismade; then said S. Ambrose: The body must be delivered to the devil and that the flesh go to the death, by which the spirit may be saved. Unnethe was the word out of his mouth but the devil began to torment him.

Rich Man and Ambrose

After, as it is said, on a time he went to Rome, and when he was on a time by the way harboured with a rich man, S. Ambrose began to demand him of his estate. That rich man answered: Sir, mine estate is happy enough and glorious, for I have riches enough, servants, varlets, children, nephews, cousins, friends, and kinsmen which serve me, and all my works and besoins come to my will, ne I have never thing that may anger ne trouble me. Then said S. Ambrose to them that were with him: Flee we hence, for our Lord God is not here, haste you fair children, haste you and let us abide here no longer lest the vengeance of God take us, and that we be not wrapped in the sins of these people. They departed and fled anon, but they were not gone far but that the earth opened and swallowed in all the house of this rich man, and there abode not as much as the step ne of himself ne of all that ever he had. Then said S. Ambrose: behold fair children how great pity and how great mercy God doth to them that have adversity in this world, and how wroth he is to them that have the wealth and riches of this world. Of which thing appeareth yet the pit or foss which endureth into this day in witness of this adventure.

Death of Ambrose

When S. Ambrose beheld that avarice, which is root of all evils, grew more and more in much people, and specially in great men and in them that were in most great estate, which sold all for money, and with the ministers of the church he saw simony reign, he began to pray to God that he would take him away from the miseries of this world, and he impetred that which he desired. Then he called his fellowship, and said to them, in joying, that, he should abide with them unto the resurrection of our Lord. And a little tofore that he lay sick, as he expounded to his notary the forty-fourth psalm, suddenly, in the presence and sight of his notary, a fire in the manner of a shield covered his head and entered into his mouth. Then became his face as white as any snow, and anon after it came again to his first form, and that day he left his writing and inditing. Then began his malady to grieve him, and the Earl of Italy which was then at Milan called the gentlemen of the country, and said to them that if so great and good a man should go from them it should be great pity and great peril to all Italy, and said to them that they all should go with him to this holy man and pray him that he would get grant of our Lord of space and longer life. When S. Ambrose had heard their request he answered: Fair sons, I have not so lived among you that I am ashamed to live if it please God, ne I have no fear re dread of death, for we have a good Lord. In this time assembled his four deacons and began to treat who should be a good bishop after him, and they named secretly among themselves, that unnethe they themselves heard it, Simplician. S. Ambrose was far from them, they weened that he might not have heard them, and he cried on high thrice: He is old and he is good. When they heard him they were much abashed and departed, and sith after his death they chose the same Simplician for the good witness that S. Ambrose had borne of him.

Bishop Honorius goes to Milan and gives Last Sacrament to Ambrose

A bishop which was named Honorius, that abode the death of S. Ambrose, slept and heard a voice that thrice called him and said: Arise thou up for he shall go his way anon. Then he arose anon hastily and went to Milan and gave to him the holy sacrament, the precious body of our Lord. And anon S. Ambrose laid his arms in form of a cross and made his prayers, and so departed and gave up his ghost among the words of his prayers, about the year of our Lord three hundred and eighty, the vigil of Easter. And when his body in the night was borne in to the church many children that were baptized, saw him, as they said, sitting in a chair honorably, and others showed him with their fingers to their father and others, and some said that they saw a star upon his body. There was a priest, that sat at meat with others, which said not well of him, but mislaid, but anon God so chastised him that he was borne from the table and died anon after. In the city of Carthage were three bishops together at dinner, and one of them spake evil by detraction of S. Ambrose, and there was a man that told what was befallen for such language to this aforesaid priest, but he mocked and japed so much that he felt a stroke mortal; that that same day he died and was buried.

Massacre of Thessalonica

It is found written in a chronicle that the emperor Valentinian was wroth because that in the city of Thessalonica the people had stoned to death his judges that were sent thither in his name, and for to avenge the same the emperor did do slay five thousand persons, great and little, good and evil, and as well them that had not trespassed as them that had deserved it. And when after this occision he came to Milan and would enter into the church, S. Ambrose came against him and defended him the entry, and said to him that after so great woodness thou oughtest not to do so great presumption, but peradventure thy power suffereth not thee to acknowledge thy trespass. It appertaineth that reason surmount power. Thou art emperor, but that is for to punish the evil people. How art thou so hardy to enter so boldly into the house of God whom thou hast horribly angered? How darest thou with thy feet touch his pavement? How darest thou stretch thy hands which be all bloody, and of whom the blood of innocents run and drop off. By what presumption darest thou put forth thy mouth to receive the precious body and blood of our Lord, of which mouth thou hast done the commandment of the devil? Go hence! go hence! and put not sin upon sin. Take the bond that our Lord hath bounden thee with, for it is given to thee in the way of medicine. When the emperor heard these words, he was obedient and began to wail and weep, and returned into his palace and abode there long weeping. Then Ruffin the master of his knights demanded wherefore he so sorrowed and wept, and he answered Ruffn, thou knowest not my sorrows, for I see that servants and poor beggars may enter into the church that I may not enter, for Ambrose hath excommunicated me. And he saying this, at every word he sighed. Then said Ruffin to him, if thou wilt I shall make him anon to assoil thee. He answered: Thou mayst not, for

Ambrose doubteth not the force ne the power of the emperor, to the end that he hold firmly the law of God. And when Ruffin said more and more that he should make him incline to assoil him, then he sent him to Ambrose, and the emperor followed soon after much humbly. When S. Ambrose saw Ruffin come, he said to him: Thou hast no more shame than an hound for to do such occision, and now comest boldly to me. When Ruffin had prayed him long for to assoil the emperor, which came following him, S. Ambrose said to him: Certainly I defend to him the entry into the church, and if he will be a tyrant I will much gladly receive the death. Then returned Ruffin to the emperor, and recounted to him how he had done, and the emperor said: Certainly I shall go to him that I may receive of him villainy enough, for it is well right. When he was come to him he demanded of him absolution much devoutly. S. Ambrose demanded of him what penance hast thou done for so great wickedness? The emperor alleged to him that David had sinned and after had mercy. S. Ambrose said: Thou that hast followed him that sinned, follow also him repentant. Then said the emperor: It appertaineth to thee to give and enjoin penance, and I shall do it. Then he bade him do open penance and common tofore all the people, and the emperor received it gladly and refused it not. When the emperor was reconciled to the church he stood in the chancel. Then said to him S. Ambrose: What seekest thou here? He answered: I am here for to receive the sacred mysteries; and Ambrose said: This place appertaineth to no man but to priests. Go out, for ye ought to be without the chancel and abide there with other. Then obeyed the emperor humbly and went out. And after, when the emperor came to Constantinople, and he stood without with the lay people, the bishop came and said to him that he should come into the chancel with the clerks, he answered that he would not, for he had learned of S. Ambrose what difference there was between an emperor and a priest. I have found a man of truth, my master Ambrose, and such a man ought to be a bishop.

 Conflict with the Empress Justina and the Arians

It happed after that, when St. Ambrose went to another city to the election of a bishop, Justina the empress, and others of the sect of the Arians would not consent to the good Christian men, but would have one of their sect. Then one of the virgins of the empress, much fair, took St. Ambrose and drew him by his vestments and would have made him to be beaten because he would not hold the party of the women.

Then St. Ambrose said to her: If I be not worthy to be a bishop, yet thou oughtest not to lay hand upon me, thou hast laid hand on me, thou oughtest much redoubt and dread the judgment of God. And therefore God confirmed his sentence on her, for the next day she was borne to her grave and was dead. Thus was she rewarded for the villainy that she had done, and all the other were thereby sore afraid.

After this, when he was returned to Milan he suffered many assaults and persecutions of the empress Justina, for she moved, by gifts and by honours, much people against St. Ambrose, and many there were that enforced them to send him in exile, and among all others there was one mounted in so great madness and fury against him, that he hired him an house by the church because he would have therein a cart for to set St. Ambrose thereon and lead him in to exile. But that same fell to him, for he himself was sent in exile in the same cart the same day that he would have led away St. Ambrose. To whom yet St. Ambrose did good for evil, for he ministered to him his costs and necessaries. St. Ambrose also established in the church, song and offices at Milan first.

There were at that time in Milan many men vexed and beset with devils, which cried with high voice that St. Ambrose tormented them thus, but the empress Justina and the Arians said that St. Ambrose made them to say so for money that he gave to them. Then it happed that one of the Arians was out of his mind and said thus: Be they all tormented as I am that consent not to St. Ambrose, and therefore the other Arians drowned him in a deep piscine or pit 

There was another heretic and an Arian, a sharp man and so hard that he was inconvertible, because no man might convert him to the faith. On a time he heard St. Ambrose preach, and he saw at his ear an angel that told him all that he preached, and when he had perceived this he began to sustain the faith to which he had been contrary.

St. Ambrose and the Enchanter

After this it happed that an enchanter called devils to him and sent them to St. Ambrose for to annoy and grieve him, but the devils returned and said that they might not approach to his gate because there was a great fire all about his house. And this enchanter, after, when he was tormented of the provost for certain trespasses, he cried and said that he was tormented of St. Ambrose.

The Devils Fear of Entering Milan

There was a man that had a devil within him and after went to Milan, and anon as he entered the city, the devil left him, and as soon as he went out of the city the devil re-entered in him again. Then he demanded him why he did so, and he answered because he was afeard of Ambrose.

An Attempt on His Life

After, it happed that a man being conducted and hired of Justina the empress, went to the bedside of St. Ambrose and would have put and riven his sword through his body, but anon his arm was dried up.

A Devil Accuses St. Ambrose

Another that was vexed with a devil said that St. Ambrose tormented him, but St. Ambrose made him to be still, for[, he said,] Ambrose tormenteth none, but that doth the envy of thee, for thou seest men ascend from whence thou art fallen, and that is it which tormenteth thee, for Ambrose cannot be so blown and swollen as thou art; then was he still and spake not.

The Laughing Man

When St. Ambrose went into the town he saw a man laugh because he saw another fall, then said Ambrose to him: Thou that laughest, beware that thou fall not also, and after he fell, and thus was he taught that he should not mock his fellow.

The Judge Who Barred St. Ambrose from the Palace

On a time St. Ambrose went unto the palace for to pray for a poor man, but the judge made to close the gate that he might not enter in; then St. Ambrose said: Thou shalt come for to enter into the church, but thou shalt not enter, and yet shall the gates be open. And so it happed that after, the judge doubted his enemies and went to the church, but he might not enter in, and yet the gates were open.

His Qualities

St. Ambrose was of so great abstinence that he fasted every day save the Sunday or a solemn feast. He was of so great largess that he gave all to poor people and retained nothing for himself. He was of so great compassion that when any confessed to him his sin, he wept so bitterly that he would make the sinner to weep. He was of so great doubt that, when it was told to him of the death of any bishop, he would weep so sore that unnethe he might be comforted, and when it was demanded him why he wept for the death of good men, for he ought better to make joy because they went to heaven, then he answered: I weep not because they go tofore me, but because that unnethe and with great pain may any be found for to do well such offices. He was of so great steadfastness and so established in his purpose that he would not leave, for dread ne for grief that might be done to him, to reprove the emperor ne the other great men when they did things that they ought not to do, ne he would flatter no man.

The Misshapen Man

There was brought once tofore him a man which was grievously mismade; then said St. Ambrose: The body must be delivered to the devil and that the flesh go to the death, by which the spirit may be saved. Unnethe was the word out of his mouth but the devil began to torment him.

The Rich Man

After, as it is said, on a time he went to Rome, and when he was on a time by the way harboured with a rich man, St. Ambrose began to demand him of his estate. That rich man answered: Sir, mine estate is happy enough and glorious, for I have riches enough, servants, varlets, children, nephews, cousins, friends, and kinsmen which serve me, and all my works and besoins come to my will, ne I have never thing that may anger ne trouble me. Then said St. Ambrose to them that were with him: Flee we hence, for our Lord God is not here, haste you fair children, haste you and let us abide here no longer lest the vengeance of God take us, and that we be not wrapped in the sins of these people.

They departed and fled anon, but they were not gone far but that the earth opened and swallowed in all the house of this rich man, and there abode not as much as the step ne of himself ne of all that ever he had. Then said St. Ambrose: behold fair children how great pity and how great mercy God doth to them that have adversity in this world, and how wroth he is to them that have the wealth and riches of this world. Of which thing appeareth yet the pit or foss which endureth into this day in witness of this adventure.

St. Ambrose’s Death and Burial

When St. Ambrose beheld that avarice, which is root of all evils, grew more and more in much people, and specially in great men and in them that were in most great estate, which sold all for money, and with the ministers of the church he saw simony reign, he began to pray to God that he would take him away from the miseries of this world, and he impetred that which he desired.

Then he called his fellowship, and said to them, in joying, that, he should abide with them unto the resurrection of our Lord. And a little tofore that he lay sick, as he expounded to his notary the forty-fourth psalm, suddenly, in the presence and sight of his notary, a fire in the manner of a shield covered his head and entered into his mouth. Then became his face as white as any snow, and anon after it came again to his first form, and that day he left his writing and inditing.

Then began his malady to grieve him, and the Earl of Italy which was then at Milan called the gentlemen of the country, and said to them that if so great and good a man should go from them it should be great pity and great peril to all Italy, and said to them that they all should go with him to this holy man and pray him that he would get grant of our Lord of space and longer life. When St. Ambrose had heard their request he answered: Fair sons, I have not so lived among you that I am ashamed to live if it please God, ne I have no fear ne dread of death, for we have a good Lord.

In this time assembled his four deacons and began to treat who should be a good bishop after him, and they named secretly among themselves, that unnethe they themselves heard it, Simplician. St. Ambrose was far from them, they weened that he might not have heard them, and he cried on high thrice: He is old and he is good. When they heard him they were much abashed and departed, and sith after his death they chose the same Simplician for the good witness that St. Ambrose had borne of him.

A bishop which was named Honorius, that abode the death of St. Ambrose, slept and heard a voice that thrice called him and said: Arise thou up for he shall go his way anon. Then he arose anon hastily and went to Milan and gave to him the holy sacrament, the precious body of our Lord. And anon St. Ambrose laid his arms in form of a cross and made his prayers, and so departed and gave up his ghost among the words of his prayers, about the year of our Lord three hundred and eighty, the vigil of Easter.

And when his body in the night was borne in to the church many children that were baptized, saw him, as they said, sitting in a chair honorably, and others showed him with their fingers to their father and others, and some said that they saw a star upon his body. There was a priest, that sat at meat with others, which said not well of him, but mislaid, but anon God so chastised him that he was borne from the table and died anon after.

In the city of Carthage were three bishops together at dinner, and one of them spake evil by detraction of St. Ambrose, and there was a man that told what was befallen for such language to this aforesaid priest, but he mocked and japed so much that he felt a stroke mortal; that that same day he died and was buried.

STORY OF ST.AUGUSTINE

 

 

 

 

  

Augustine was born at Tagaste (now Souk-Ahras, Tunis) on 13 November, 354 to Patricius and Monica.  Patricius was a pagan of the curialis (senatorial and landholding) rank; his mother, Monica, was a devout Christian.

Having born in an aristocratic family Augustine studied Latin, Greek, rhetoric, philosophy, and literature, among others.

Augustine, like so many who leave benevolent parental influence when very young, became seduced by the glamour and sinfulness of a pagan world.  Caught up in the pride of his own success as a brilliant student, by the time he was 18 (372 AD), he was a father, living with the woman who bore him his son, Adeodatus.  

Augustine developed skills in rhetoric, and regarded its practice as his profession, though he continued to study philosophy out of love. 

About 373, he became enamored of Manicheanism, essentially a religion that tried to include all the truths of all previous religions.  He met a bishop of Mani and and got involved.

Manicainism was a mixture of the religions of Christianity, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Mandaenism (John the Baptist) , Judaistic sect of Elcesaite in which he himself was born. He called it the"Religion of Light".  According to biographies preserved by Ibn al-Nadim and the Persian polymath al-Biruni, he received a revelation as a youth from a spirit, whom he would later call his Twin.  It was a type of Gnosticism.  

In 383, at age 29, Augustine decided to leave Carthage for Rome, and took a job teaching rhetoric. But his time in Rome came to an end when he could not make enough money.  He returned to Milan

Yet, Augustine, still seeking the Truth, began reading Holy Scripture. But, scripture was not enough; initially, a skeptical Augustine was unimpressed with holy writ interpreting it in normal simple meaning..  He thought it better suited to children. Further, the existence of evil remained an enigma to him. Then, Monica along with Augustine’s mistress of twelve years and their twelve year old son, arrived in Milan.

Monica sent Augustine’s mistress away, as she wanted Augustine to have a legitimate marriage; in response, Augustine found another mistress.   It was during this time that  Augustine famously prayed, “Make me chaste and continent, but not yet.” 

Ambrose and Augustine Met in Milan: when Ambrose was in his fifties; Augustine was 30.  Augustine was attracted to Ambrose's honey-tongue

In his Confessions, Augustine relates to a particular time when , Augustine experienced much anguish " I heard the voice of a child in the yard next door singing, “Take it and read it, take it and read it.” He picked up a nearby copy of the Scriptures, opened and read the first passage he saw, “Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying:  but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh in concupiscence

 

 

 

 

 Augustine and Ambrose

Immediately after reading this passage, Augustine no longer had any doubt as to what he should do.  He had overcome his final objection.   Through the grace of God, Monica’s prayers, and Ambrose’s friendship along with his sermons, Augustine eventually turned away from the falsehood of the Manichean, and became a catechumen.

 

Augustine is baptized by Ambrose.  The text behind his head is the famous medieval hymn "Te Deum" which legend believed had been by Augustine and Ambrose, jointly improvised for this moment

Augustine writes in his confession “So I came to Milan and to Bishop Ambrose…. He was a devout worshiper of you, Lord, and at the same time his energetic preaching provided Your people with the choicest wheat and the joy of oil and the sober intoxication of wine. Unknowingly, I was led by You to him, so that through him I might be led, knowingly, to You.”

Ambrose led the young teacher to the Christian faith. He became a monk and then a priest, and around the age of forty was already the bishop of Hippo in North Africa..  He became one of the Doctors of the Church along with Ambrose.

 

 


Publication date ca. 1520–1540

Ink, Drawings, Paper, Watercolors, Gouache, Europe, Pen and brown ink, brown wash, heightened with white gouache, on brown prepared paper; framing line in pen and brown ink, by the artist, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Where Europe, Netherlands

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN

ICONOGRAPHY OF AMBROSE

  

http://www.christianiconography.info/december2001/ambrose.jpg

Giovanni di Paolo, St. Ambrose, 1465-70: Whip, book, mitre

In the art the emblem of St. Ambrose's assertiveness is often represented with a whip.  In addition to this whip and his episcopal mitre and crozier, artists derived further attributes and subject matter from the Golden Legend. Some images use bees or a beehive as his attribute,  The Legend says a swarm of bees buzzed around his mouth when he was a child, leading his father to predict great things for him.

 

Fresco in an Austrian church: Beehive, mitre, crozier, book
In those days books were not commonplace people read the books loud.  It it told that Ambrose could read books without moving his mouth just looking at it, something of a great achievement at that time.


 

 

 

 

In the chancel area of the church is this icon of St. Ambrose.  The icon is based upon the oldest known image of this bishop Ambrose, a mosaic that dates back to the time of his life.  It probably represents his actual form. There is another mosaic in the same form inside the cathedral.

St. Ambrose's most common attribute is a riding whip, as seen in this painting. As a bishop, he will be pictured wearing a mitre, and sometimes holding a crozier. (See the description page for this image and the page explaining the iconography of images of this saint.)

 

     

                                     Statue of Saint Ambrose   

 

St. Ambrose’s memorial is December 7th.

https://www.catholiccompany.com/getfed/ambrose-bishop-poor/
https://www.sau.edu/about-sau/at-a-glance/history-of-sau/ambrose-of-milan http://www.catholic-saints.info/patron-saints/saint-ambrose.htm 

https://tomperna.org/2015/12/07/saint-ambrose-of-milan-patron-of-the-veneration-of-mary/

 



 

Patronage

 

    * bee keepers

    * bees

    * candlemakers

    * chandlers

    * domestic animals

    * French Commissariat

    * learning

    * Milan, Italy, archdiocese of

    * Milan, Italy, city of

    * schoolchildren

    * Stresa, Italy

    * students

    * wax melters

    * wax refiners

 

Representation

 

    * beehive

    * bees

    * bishop holding a church in his hand

    * dove

    * human bones

    * man arguing with a pagan

    * ox

    * pen

    * scourge

    * with Saint Gregory the Great, Saint Jerome and Saint Augustine of Hippo

http://www.aquinasandmore.com/fuseaction/store.patronsaintpage/saint/124

 

 

 

[FrontPage Include Component]