Book Cover of On the Duties of the Clergy

On the Duties of the Clergy

by Saint Ambrose

Aurelius Ambrosius was a fourth century cleric who rose to become the Archbishop of Milan in 374 AD. His father was a powerful Roman general and the prefect of Gaul. His brother and sister were also consecrated as saints by the Catholic Church. As an infant, a swarm of bees settled over his face and flew away without harming the baby, but left behind a drop of honey and this was seen as a sign of his future eloquence and bees are often painted in his portraits as his symbols. Ambrosius (or Ambrose as he is referred to in English) was a highly learned man, well versed in Latin and Greek, theology and many other subjects. His great achievement was to establish the Catholic Church in Milan and reduce the powerful Arian sect to secondary status in the state. He ranks with greats like Augustine and Jerome in his learning and devotion to the church. In fact, he was the priest who baptized Augustine. He was also a notable Biblical critic and initiated several innovative ideas that would help guide State-Church relations in medieval times. He was also a gifted orator and skilled musician, and many of his hymns are remembered even today. He was responsible for introducing a new style of “antiphonal” chanting in the Church.

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Ambrose venerated as Saint Ambrose, was the Bishop of Milan, a theologian, and one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. Ambrose was serving as the Roman governor of Aemil...

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