Friday, 7 December 2012

Two Ambroses

St Ambrose

In the Catholic Church the 7th December is an important day, it is the day we remember the first Doctor of the Church, St Ambrose.  He was born between 337 and 340 AD in Trier, Germany.  In the year 374 St Ambrose was unexpectically made Bishop of Milan.  After being made Bishop, St Ambrose gave up all his wealth to the poor.  According to legend, St Ambrose immediately and forcefully stopped Arianism in Milan.  He was a great preacher and teacher; helping to convert St Augustine.  It was St Ambrose who baptised St Augustine into the Catholic faith.  He died on 4th April 397.  St Ambrose is patron of bee keepers; bees; candle makers; domestic animals; French Commissariat; learning; Milan; students; and wax refiners. 

Our Ambrose, looking quite 'saintly' and innocent

Speaking of domestic animals, there is one domestic animal in particular who shares his name with the famous Bishop of Milan, our own Ambrose here in St Patrick's.  For those of you who don't know, Ambrose is Fr Alex's King Charles Spaniel and a very important part of the Parish.  Ambrose joined the Parish 5 years ago this month and has been a popular member since.

I'm not sure if there are many similarities between St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, and our Ambrose, who at times seems to think he is Bishop of Soho!  (so much so that right now he has decided that the best place for him to lie is on my lap while I now try to type one handed since he thinks my other arm is there is rest his head on!).  The two Ambroses do, I think, share a few characteristics.  The Doctors of the Catholic Church website states that in 'sketches of him [St Ambrose], his face is thin with big eyes set deep within a long, gaunt face.'  Our Ambrose has amazing big eyes that would melt any heart, so they share big eyes :)  St Ambrose had great presence and was one of the most influential men of the fourth  century; well our Ambrose most definitely has great presence here at St Patrick's and dare I say it he is surely one of the most influential here, if not the most influential!  St Ambrose is well known for evangelising St Augustine; on many a Friday night you will find our Ambrose out on the streets of Soho 'evangelisng' potential saints. 

Some Adoration to begin the morning

Prayer That We May Seek God and Find Him

Lord, teach me to seek you, and reveal yourself to me when I seek you. For I cannot seek you unless you first teach me, nor find you unless you first reveal yourself to me. Let me seek you in longing and long for you in seeking. Let me find you in love, and love you in finding.

~ St Ambrose of Milan, Bishop, Writer, Doctor

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