Ambrosius of Milan

Ambrosius of Milan, mosaic in pc. Ambrogio, Milan

Ambrosius of Milan (* around 340 in Trier; † 4. April 397 in Milan) was selected as Roman politicians to the bishop and became then one of the fourwestern church teacher and one of the most important personalities of the western church in the first centuries.

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Ambrosius came from Christian parents' house, was however not not baptized,which at that time pretty often was. Its father was Präfekt of Gallia Narbonensis. Ambrosius was intended and was accordingly legally trained after its early death in Rome for the official career. About 372 it with the prefecture of the province Aemilia Liguria becameawarded with seat in Milan (at that time residence of the emperors) an important position.

The diocese Milan was, like the remaining church at that time, deeply zerstritten between Trinitariern and Arianern. When a bishop choice lined up to 374, and the respected Präfekt liked all-side wentpersonally into the Basilika, where the choice should take place, in order to prevent in this crisis situation a probable riot. Its speech became the legend after by the interruption of a child “Ambrosius episcopus!” (“Ambrosius is to become bishop! ”) interrupted, whereupon it unanimouslyto the bishop one selected.

Ambrosius worked in this situation as a suitable candidate, because he admits the Trinitariern as its sympathizer was, in addition, appeared acceptable to the Arianern because of his theological neutrality as politicians. It was correct however energetically against itsChoice, since he saw himself prepared for such an office in no way: It was only Katechumene (in the baptizing preparation). Only on imperial intervention it gave way and received within one week baptism and surgery, so that its Bischofsweihe nothing more in the way stood.

Statue of the Hl.Ambrosius

after the legend set Ambrosius then for the heresy in Milan immediately by force an end. It actually went opposite the air anise mash prevailing in population and priest shank, to which it could oppose few arguments,more realistically and more bedächtiger forwards. It acquired itself theological bases, studied the Bible and Greek authors such as Philo, Origenes, Athanasius and Basilius of Caesarea, with which it stood also in exchange of letters (see Web on the left of). The again acquired knowledge turnedit as a Prediger on, whereby he laid in particular old persons out the will. It its knowledge acquired in former times was in Rhetorik and in Greek, which became rare in the westRoman realm at that time, from large advantage.

In the Liturgie led it that Ambrosiani singing . Its character, its lectures and Bible interpretation impressed the Rhetoriker Augustinus of Hippo, which no Greek controlled, so much that it could be baptized 387 of it.

In its fights of many years against the Arianer, those particularly that, Used Ambrosius dominated emperor yard alternating theological and political methods. It e.g. succeeded to it 382. to bring by its relations with the emperor yard Gratian to put the title down Pontifex Maximus and to stop state allowances to the heidnischen temples. Also in the controversyaround the Victoriaaltar it remained victorious opposite Quintus Aurelius Symmachus.

Ambrosius prevented 388 of emperors Theodosius I. ordered legal punishment of a mesopotamischen bishop, who had instigated a quantity in Kallinikon to the Niederbrennen of the there synagog. Ambrosius required brieflich thatall Plünderer and took part exempt from punishment to go out should and the synagog was not rebuilt, although the law prescribed this:

Why against absent ones exert one legal proceedings? Here you have a present and confessing accused. I admit that I the synagog in fireput,… in order to eliminate the place, at the Christ one denies. ... If the place of the Jewish Unglaubens from the booty made with the Christians [the national taxes] is to be built, is the money collected owing to Christi sympathetic considerationinto the possession of the disbelieving ones to be transferred? ... Those are so the tricks of the Jews, who slander gladly, so that for investigation an extraordinary military commission of inquiry is sent… Whom they do not become to accuse there to stir up unrests whom they become therebefore the court do not sharpen, even if they do not know it, so that they see endless rows of Christians in chains, so that they see the Gläubigen under the slave yoke, so that these are abandoned fire death, into the mines banished, thus the punishmentas for a long time as possible last. - Want to grant you this triumph to the Jews over the church…? The Jews will take up this day under their holidays… What has in common the pious one with the disbelieving one? With the disbelieving one also the testifying must of theUnglaubens to be exterminated.

With these Rhetorik forced the outstanding bishop the emperor to diplomatic giving in. The letter shows, as a Christian used his office for guidance, around the experience of earlier Christian pursuit by the Roman state into an assumption against now throughChristians pursued and threatened Jews to turn around. Thus it created a precedent, which could scoop out the up to then valid imperial legal protection for the Jews.

van Dyck: Pc. Ambrosius and emperors Theodosius

390 forced Ambrosius Theodosius under threat of the Exkommunikation even topublic regret for the massacre of Thessaloniki. That is not to compare with the bus course Heinrichs fourth after Canossa - with Heinrich it went around a struggle for power between emperors and Pope, with Theodosius around the seelsorgerliche question,whether the emperor is beyond a clear sin or like all different in this situation also for it penalty must do (the emperor is in the church, not over the church).

Ambrosius died after an episcopacy of 23Years the previous evening of Easter 397.


in its Bible interpretation used Ambrosius the exegetische method of the Allegorese developed by Origenes in Alexandria, which give a three-way meaning to the Bible text: the literal sense, the moral senseand the mystischen sense.

As a theologian Ambrosius interpreted less own thoughts developed than the texts of the eastern church fathers for latin world - church-historically a substantial factor for the theological development of the western church, there practically all large theologians forwardsAmbrosius from the east came and/or. in Greek language wrote.

A reference to its meaning for the catholic church is that Ambrosius over twenty times in the Katechismus of the catholic church is quoted (only exceeded of Augustinus and Thomas ofAquin).

Its contribution was differently judged by contemporaries to theology. Hieronymus writes that Ambrosius is a bird, which decorates itself with strange feathers/springs and makes from good Greek bad latin. Augustinus against it explains that the paper over the holy ones Spirit in simple style is written, since the topic does not require linguistic beauty, but arguments, which move the understanding of its readers.

The Ambrosiani Liturgie knows the foot washing as Sakrament.

holy admiration

Ambrosius is the protection patron of the cities Milan and Bologna. Shopkeepers, beekeepers, Wachszieher and living cake bakers have him as Schutzheiligen, and he is the protection patron of the bees, the domestic animals and learning.

In the art its attributes are straw hive, book and scourge.

Its anniversaryin the catholic and orthodox church is the 7. December, in the Evangelist church of the 4. April.


  • De officiis ministrorum over the obligations of the priests
  • De spiritu sancto over the holy spirit
  • De sacramentisOver the Sakramente
  • De fide over the faith - paper over the air anise mash written for emperors Gratianus
  • De virginibus over the virginity - written for its sister Marcellina
  • De mysteriis over the Sakramente - Katechismus lessons
  • exposition in Lucam comment overthe Lukas gospel
  • grave speeches for the emperors Valentinian 392 and Theodosius 395
  • De Tobia
  • letter at Basilikus of Caesarea

beside it are received numerous letters and lectures from Ambrosius. From it also latin the text materials of some church songs, those come today stillin the catholic and Evangelist church to be sung: e.g.

  • “Now, the heaths welfare and” (Veni redemptor gentium) gets along,
  • “Erhabner creator of all Ding'" (Aeterne rerum conditor),
  • “you creators of all natures” (Deus, creator omnium),
  • “you glossGod glories " (Splendor paternae gloriae).


  • Markschies, Christoph: Ambrosius of Milan and tri rivet RK theology, Tübingen 1995.
  • That man, Ernst: Ambrosius von Mailand. Life and work, Stuttgart 2004.

Web on the left of

Wikiquote: Ambrosius ofMilan - quotations


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