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Early life[ edit ] Ambrose was born into a Roman Christian family about and was raised in Gallia Belgicathe capital of which was Augusta Treverorum.
He was the youngest of three children, who included Marcellina and Satyrus who is the subject Better alone Ambrose's De excessu fratris Satyrialso venerated as saints.
His father considered this a sign of his future eloquence and honeyed tongue. For this reason, bees and beehives often appear in the saint's symbology.
After the early death of his father, Ambrose went to Rome, where he studied literaturelawand rhetoric. He then followed in his Better alone footsteps and entered public service. Praetorian Prefect Sextus Claudius Petronius Probus first gave him a place in the council and then in about made him governor of Liguria and Emilia, with headquarters at Milan.
He was a very popular political figure, and since he was the Governor in the effective capital in the Roman West, he was a recognizable figure in the court of Valentinian I.
Bishop of Milan[ edit ] In the late 4th century there was a deep conflict in the diocese of Milan between the Nicene Church and Arians.
Ambrose went to the church where the election was to take place, to prevent an uproar, which was probable in this crisis. His address was interrupted by a call, "Ambrose, bishop! At first he energetically refused the office, for which he was in no way prepared: Ambrose was neither baptized nor formally trained in theology.
Upon receiving a letter from Better alone Emperor Gratian praising the appropriateness of Rome appointing individuals evidently worthy of holy positions, Ambrose's host gave him up. Within a week, he was baptized, ordained and duly consecrated bishop of Milan.
As bishop, he immediately adopted an ascetic lifestyle, apportioned his money to the poor, donating all of his land, making only provision for his sister Marcellina who had become a nun. This raised his popularity even further, giving him considerable political leverage over even the emperor.
Upon the unexpected appointment of Ambrose to the episcopate, his brother Satyrus resigned a prefecture in order to move to Milan, where he took over managing the family's affairs.
Unknown Lombard author, early 17 century. Ambrose studied theology with Simpliciana presbyter of Rome. In the confrontation with Arians, Ambrose sought to theologically refute their propositions, which were contrary to the Nicene creed and thus to the officially defined orthodoxy.
The Arians appealed to many high level leaders and clergy in both the Western and Eastern empires. Although the western Emperor Gratian supported orthodoxy, the younger Valentinian IIwho became his colleague in the Empire, adhered to the Arian creed.
In the East, Emperor Theodosius I likewise professed the Nicene creed; but there were many adherents of Arianism throughout his dominions,  especially among the higher clergy.
In this contested state of religious opinion, two leaders of the Arians, bishops Palladius of Ratiaria and Secundianus of Singidunumconfident of numbers, prevailed upon Gratian to call a general council from all parts of the empire.
This request appeared so equitable that he complied without hesitation. However, Ambrose feared the consequences and prevailed upon the emperor to have the matter determined by a council of the Western bishops.
Accordingly, a synod composed of thirty-two bishops was held at Aquileia in the year Ambrose was elected president and Palladius, being called upon to defend his opinions, declined. A vote was then taken, when Palladius and his associate Secundianus were deposed from their episcopal offices.
In  or the emperor and his mother Justinaalong with a considerable number of clergy and laityespecially military, professed Arianism. They demanded two churches in Milanone in the city the Basilica of the Apostlesthe other in the suburbs St Victor'sbe allocated to the Arians.
The day following, when he was performing divine service in the basilica, the prefect of the city came to persuade him to give up at least the Portian basilica in the suburbs.
As he still refused, certain deans or officers of the court were sent to take possession of the Portian basilica, by hanging up in it imperial escutcheons  to prepare for the arrival of the emperor and his mother at the ensuing festival of Easter. I will not call upon the people to succour me; I will die at the foot of the altar rather than desert it.
The tumult of the people I will not encourage: Ambrose and his congregation barricaded themselves inside the church, and the imperial order was rescinded. The imperial court was displeased with the religious principles of Ambrose, however his aid was soon solicited by the Emperor.
When Magnus Maximus usurped the supreme power in Gauland was meditating a descent upon Italy, Valentinian sent Ambrose to dissuade him from the undertaking, and the embassy was successful.Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products.
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