Sunday, December 8, 2013

St. Ambrose - Although, he was only a Catechumen

Ambrose was born into Roman nobility around 340 in Trier, Germany. Following his father's death, Ambrose went to Rome and began a career in law and politics. He later became the Imperial governor of Northern Italy.

When the bishop of Milan died in 374, a violent dispute broke out between the Catholics and the Arians over his replacement. Ambrose intervened and the people were so impressed with the way he handled the situation that they demanded that be made their bishop, although he was only a catechumen at the time. He resisted, claiming that he was not worthy, but to prevent further violence, he finally agreed. He was baptized, ordained a priest, and consecrated a bishop all within a brief period of time.

Aware of his lack of preparation for this great responsibility, Ambrose immediately changed his life and began studying prayer, Scripture and theology. He gave away all his money and possessions to the poor. His spirituality deepened and he became known as a brilliant preacher, Biblical scholar, and a writer of liturgical hymns. Ambrose was a courageous warrior against paganism and the Arians. St. Ambrose was a friend of St. Augustine and was influential in his conversion. In 387, St. Ambrose baptized St. Augustine, who went on to become bishop of Hippo in North Africa.
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