Lived c 339 - 397
Rank and group: Bishop, Doctor
Feast day: 7 December
Patron saint: Milan, bookkeepers
Attributes: Beehive, three-tailed whip
Status: Roman Martyrology
Saint Ambrose was born in Gaul, where his father was praetorian prefect and Roman noble. was voted into being Bishop of Milan without even having been baptized, let alone ordained a priest. His great persona and Christianity resulted in undesired responsibility.
Still very young, Ambrose became a barrister at Rome and before his thirty-fifth year was appointed governor of Liguria and Aemilia with his headquarters at Milan. The whole province was rent by the Arian controversy. When in 374 the bishop of Milan died, Ambrose, as governor, went to the cathedral to ensure peace and order in the new election, with the result that he himself, though a catechumen, was elected by acclamation, after a child has [sic] been suddenly heard to cry out "Ambrose for bishop." Ambrose's objections were overruled and he was consecrated on Dec. 7 374 (the day on which his feast is now held). He proved to be one of the greatest and most beloved bishops of all time. He excelled as an administrator, as a writer, as a protector of the poor, as the "hammer of Arianism." He was prompt and outspoken in withstanding the tyranny of the emperors. His courge in reproving Theodosius the Great was a noble example of Christian heroism. He died on Good Friday, April 4, 397, hardly fifty years of age. He is one of the four great Latin Fathers and Doctors. Book of Saints, p 40