Ambrose of Milan – The Reluctant Bishop Who Called Emperors to Task

 By Simonetta Carr - Posted at Place for Truth:

If you visit downtown Milan, Italy, besides viewing the most popular monuments, such as the Duomo and the Sforza Castle, you may want to walk a mile out of the way to explore an older church named after a fourth-century bishop, Ambrose. You’ll see a mosaic depicting him as a small, unassuming man dressed in drab colors – quite a contrast with the altar of gold built a few centuries later in his honor. And yet, it was this seemingly unassertive man who resisted the orders of an empress and caused an emperor to walk in penitence through the city’s streets.

Ambrose’s Early Life

Ambrose was born in Trier, in today’s Germany, around the year 339, to a Christian family from Rome. His full name was Aurelius Ambrosius.

Being a prefect of Rome in Gaul, Ambrose’s father directed his son toward a political career. Ambrose’s studies in Trier and Rome allowed him to become first a lawyer, then a magistrate. Valentinian I, who was emperor at that time, was so impressed by Ambrose’s abilities as a mediator that in 370 he made him governor of the Roman provinces in northern Italy, with a seat in Milan (the capital of the western empire). Ambrose was only 24 years old.


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