Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Feast of Saint Ambrose
Statue of Saint Ambrose, at Saint Ambrose Church, in Saint Louis, Missouri. Photo taken in 2007.
A bishop during the Roman period, Saint Ambrose had to deal with the Arian heresy, which was popular amongst the powerful; he even had to rebuke the Emperor on occasion, at great risk to himself, for a leader who calls himself Christian ought to act like a Christian in his political affairs. Besides his orthodoxy, his lofty rhetoric and deep knowledge of Platonic philosophy helped to convert Saint Augustine to the faith. On matters of Church discipline, he advised others to adapt to the local customs of wherever they happened to be; from this, we eventually got the maxim “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” The Church in Ambrose's Milan was quite distinctive, and the Ambrosian Rite liturgy survives to this day.