Fr Paul reads from Matthew’s Gospel (18: 12-14), in which Jesus, using the image of the lost sheep, tells his disciples that the Father in heaven does not want anyone to be lost. Afterwards, Fr Paul shares a little about the live of St Ambrose, whose memorial we celebrate today.
Ambrose was born in Trier, which is now in Germany, between 337 and 340AD. He was born to a Roman family. His father was Praetorian Prefect of Gaul. Ambrose was educated in Rome and became an advocate and administrator.
Around 372 Ambrose was made prefect of Liguria and Emilia. The capital of those regions was Milan. In 374, the bishopric of Milan became vacant and when Ambrose tried to pacify opposing groups, they demanded that he be the new bishop. So, coerced by the people and the emperor, Ambrose was baptized, ordained and made the bishop of Milan within a week. He gave all his money to the poor and all his land to the church and started then to learn about theology.
It was said Ambrose was a true teacher and shepherd of the faithful. He was also key in the conversion of St Augustine. Ambrose died in the year 397.
And so, today, as we celebrate his life, Fr Paul says, we pray in the tradition of our church, ‘St Ambrose, pray for us!’