Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church
Ambrose, bishop of Milan, son of an Ambrose who was a Roman citizen, was educated in the city in the liberal arts. Appointed by the prefect Probus to govern Liguria and Aemilia, at his order and with his authority Ambrose went to Milan. There Auxentius the Arian bishop had died, and the people were quarrelling about the choice of a successor. In the exercise of his official duty, Ambrose went into the church to quell the riot that had arisen and, when he had spoken at length and eloquently on the peace and tranquility of the state, suddenly a boys voice exclaimed, Ambrose, bishop! Then the whole populace with one voice demanded that he be elected.
And so he received baptism (for he had been only a catechumen), the other sacraments of the Christian initiation, all the degrees of orders according to the custom of the Church, and was raised to the dignity of the episcopate. In carrying out his office, he courageously defended the Catholic Faith and the discipline of the Church both in speech and in writing, and converted many Arians and other heretics to the faith, among whom was St. Augustine, whom he begot to Christ Jesus as his spiritual child. Worn out by all his labors and cares for the Church of God, he died on April 4 in the year 397.
Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. I: Advent to Passion Sunday (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1653-1654.
Epistle and Gospel for December 7