German Couple

St Ambrose of Milan
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewski

St. Ambrose's feast day is December 7th. Ambrose is the patron saint of Milan and Bologna; candle makers; bee keepers; geese; and orators. Ambrose was a Doctor of the Church. Ambrose's early life is a bit of a mystery. He was born in 340 in Germany, while others say he was born in Trier (Butler) and Gaul (However). His parents were aristocrats and his father's name was Ambrose. His father was a prefect in Gaul. Ambrose was educated in Rome, and became successful enough to be made governor of Milan, Italy, by Probus, Pretorian Prefect of Italy. Ambrose worked as a Milanese lawyer, and a bishop in Milan (Kelly, 15-16). He learned the Greek language and rhetoric.

Ambrose was a fierce advocate of celibacy. He did not see a marriage as any higher than a devotion to God. Ambrose did not like violence: "No man heals himself by wounding another," he wrote. St. Ambrose died on Good Friday, April 4, 397 (at age 57). His aunt was St. Marcellina.

*Gaul was the Roman name for France, Belgium, and Switzerland.

*Milan is a province in Lombardy, Northern Italy.


Butler's Lives of the Saints (on CD-ROM) USA: Harmony Media, Inc., 1996. Their Website

Hoever, Rev. Hugo. Lives of the Saints. New York: Catholic Books Publishing Co., 1989. 353.

Jöckle, Clemens. Encyclopedia of Saints. London: Alpine Fine Arts Collection Ltd., 1995, 52-53.

Kelly, Sean and Rosemary Rodgers. Saints Preserve Us. New York: Random House, 1993, 31.

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