1,637 years ago tomorrow, St. Ambrose was ordained a priest and bishop and consecrated the Patriarch of Milan.
St. Ambrose’s preaching and holiness moved St. Augustine to seek baptism.
These two are the pre-eminent Latin-speaking Fathers of the Church. In the Vatican Basilica, the Bernini statue which holds the relic of St. Peter’s chair depicts St. Ambrose as one of the four saints who hold the throne aloft.
St. Ambrose was ordained the day before the anniversary of the Blessed Mother’s conception. Probably not a co-incidence.
Here is how St. Ambrose explained to his people why it is so important to honor the Mother of God.
What is greater than the Mother of God? What more glorious than she whom Glory Itself chose? …She was humble in heart, grave in speech, prudent in mind, sparing of words, studious in reading, resting her hope not on uncertain riches, but on the prayer of the poor, intent on work, modest in discourse.
She wanted to seek not man but God as the judge of her thoughts, to injure no one, to have goodwill towards all, to honor her elders, not to envy her equals, to avoid boastfulness, to follow reason, to love virtue.
…When did she pain her parents even by a look? When did she disagree with her neighbors? When did she despise the lowly? When did she avoid the needy? There was nothing gloomy in her eyes, nothing forward in her words, nothing unseemly in her acts, there was not a silly movement, nor unrestrained step, nor was her voice petulant.
The very appearance of her outward being was the image of her soul. For a well-ordered house ought to be recognized on the threshold, and should show at the very first entrance that no darkness is hidden within, as our soul hindered by no restraints of the body may shine abroad like a lamp placed within.
The first duty we have in our service to Christ is to honor His immaculate mother.
When Sts. Joachim and Anne embraced each other on December 8 and conceived their daughter, the Creator–always full of surprises–brought the Garden of Eden back to the earth.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary enfolds us like an undying garden of innocence, purity, and truth. May we live in this garden always.