This year I've decided to sketch many of The Great Holy Men and Women of the Church. Come along with me on this journey as we get to know our elder brothers and sisters in faith.
"And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us," Heb 12:1
Ambrose [Latin: Ambrosivs] (c. 340-397 A.D.) was born into a Germano-Roman family in Trier (in modern Germany). His father was Aurelius Ambrosius, the praetorian prefect of Gaul. After the early death of his father, Ambrose followed his father's career. He was educated in Rome, studying literature, law, and rhetoric. Later he became Consular Prefect of Milan. He was a very popular political figure, and was an associate of the Roman Emperor Valentinian. In 374, the Archbishop of Milan, Auxentius, an Arian, died. The election of his successor was deeply divided between the heretical Arians and the orthodox Christians. Ambrose went to the Cathedral where the election was to take place, to prevent an uproar, and he was spontaneously proclaimed Archbishop. Ambrose was known to be orthodox in belief, but also acceptable to Arians due to his charity. As Archbishop, he immediately adopted an ascetic lifestyle, apportioned his money to the poor, donating all of his land. Using his excellent knowledge of Greek, and his depth of learning which was then rare in the West, to his advantage, he applied this knowledge as a preacher, and his rhetorical abilities impressed Augustine of Hippo, who hitherto had thought poorly of Christians.