(c. 339--97) Saint and Bishop. Ambrose was born in Trier, Gaul and at first he practised as a lawyer. In about 370, he was appointed governor of the province of Milan and when Bishop AUXENTIUS died, he was invited to be his successor. At this stage Ambrose was not even baptised. After much hesitation he accepted the invitation and was baptised, ordained and consecrated. Unlike Auxentius who was an Arian, Ambrose was strictly orthodox and he became famous as a preacher. St AUGUSTINE, in particular, greatly admired him. He was fearless in his dealings with the secular authorities, imposing penance on the Emperor THEODOSIUS I after a massacre in Thessalonica and declaring that the Emperor was within the Church and not over it. Among his surviving works are De Sac ramentis, which is the earliest witness to the prayer of consecration in the Roman Mass, De Officiis Ministrorum, on Christian ethics, and various letters, hymns and sermons. Some scholars also believe him to have been the author of the Athanasian Creed. Ambrose is counted among the four traditional Doctors of the Latin Church, the others being AUGUSTINE, GREGORY THE GREAT and JEROME.
N. McLynn, Ambrose of Milan (1995) ; D. Williams, Ambrose of Milan (1995).