Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, was the son of another Ambrose, a Roman citizen, and was born when his father was Prefect of Gaul, [about the year of our Lord 340.] A swarm of bees settled upon his face when he was in his cradle, which was considered an omen of his future eloquence. He received a liberal education at Rome. He was afterwards, under the Prefect Probus, made governor of Liguria and Emilia, and so came with authority to Milan. Auxentius, an Arian, who had been intruded into the Bishoprick of Milan, happening to die, the most violent disputes arose about the choice of a successor. Ambrose came to the church in his ofﬁcial capacity, and urged upon the contending factions, in a long and powerful speech, the necessity of keeping the public peace; whereupon a child suddenly cried out, “Ambrose, Bishop,” and the whole assembly took it up, and unanimously called for his election.
Ambrose refused, and would not yield to their prayers, whereupon on they carried their petition to the Emperor Valentinian. It was very pleasing to this Prince that those he had appointed as judges should be chosen Bishops, as to the Prefect Probus, who had, as it were prophetically, said to him when he appointed him, “Go and govern them more like a Bishop than a Judge.” When the will of the Emperor was added to the desire of the people, Ambrose yielded, and received Baptism, (for hitherto he was only a Catechumen,) Conﬁrmation, and Communion, and then the several Orders on successive days, till on the eighth day, which was the 7th of December, [in the year 374,] the weight of the Episcopate was laid upon his shoulders. Being made Bishop, he showed himself a stout upholder of the Catholic faith, and the discipline of the Church, and turned to the truth great numbers of Arians and other heretics, and, among them, he begat in Christ Jesus that burning and shining light of the Church, Augustine.
BISHOP, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR
Double White vestments
Commemoration for the Vigil of
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
In Medio Ecclesiæ aperuit os ejus: et implevit eum Dominus spiritu sapientiæ, et intellectus: stolam gloriæ induit eum.
Ps. 91: 2. Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime. Gloria Patri.
Ecclesiasticus 15: 5
In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory.
Ps. It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy Name, O Most High. Glory be to the Father.
O God, who didst give blessed Ambrose as a minister of eternal salvation to Thy people: grant, we beseech Thee, that we, who have had him for our teacher on earth, may deserve to have him for our advocate in heaven. Through our Lord.
For the Feria in Advent
Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the ways of Thine only-begotten Son; that through His coming we may attain to serve Thee with purified minds. Who with Thee liveth and reigneth.
Third Collect for the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception of B.V.M.
O God, who didst wondrously preserve the Mother of thine only-begotten Son from original sin in her Conception: grant, we beseech thee, that strengthened by her intercession we may be ready with clean hearts to take part in her holy-day. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
Dearly beloved, I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the living and the dead, by His coming and His kingdom: preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and will indeed turn away from the truth, but will be turned into fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry. Be sober. For I am even now ready to be sacrificed and the time of my dissolution is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just Judge, will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love His coming.
Ecclus. 44: 16, 20
Behold the great priest, who in his days pleased God. There was not found the like to him, who kept the law of the Most High.
Alleluia, alleluia. The Lord hath sworn, and He will not repent. Thou art a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech. Alleluia
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and be trodden on by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, Who is in heaven. Do not think that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and so shall teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Psalm 88: 25
My truth and My mercy shall be with him: and in My Name shall his horn be exalted.
Almighty and everlasting God, through the intercession of blessed Ambrose, Thy Confessor and Bishop, make Thou the gifts offered to Thy Majesty profitable unto our eternal salvation. Through our Lord.
Secret for the Feria in Advent
Be appeased, we beseech Thee, O Lord, by the prayers and offerings of our humility: and where we have no merits to plead for us, do Thou help us with Thine aid. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord.
For the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception of B.V.M.
May our gifts, O Lord, he commended to thy clemency by the prayer of the Immaculate Mother of God: whom thou didst preserve from all taint of original sin, that she might deserve to become a worthy dwelling place for thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God.
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: through Christ our Lord. through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, Dominations worship, Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
Psalm 88: 36-38
Once I have sworn by My holiness: his seed shall endure for ever; and his throne as the sun before Me, and as the moon perfect for ever; and a faithful witness in heaven.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who have received the Sacraments of our salvation, may ever be helped by the prayers of blessed Ambrose, Thy Confessor and Bishop, in whose honour we have offered these gifts to Thy Majesty. Through our Lord.
For the Feria in Advent
Filled with the food of this spiritual nourishment, we suppliantly entreat Thee, O Lord, that through our participation in this Mystery Thou wouldst teach us to despise earthly things and to love heavenly ones. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord.
For the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception of B.V.M.
O merciful God, grant protection unto our weakness; that we, who forestall the festival of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of thine only-begotten Son, may by the help of her intercession rise again from our iniquities. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.