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St Ambrose – Saint of the Day – 7th December

St Ambrose was chosen to be his city’s bishop, much to his surprise – not only was he a layman, but he was also not yet baptised: he was a catechumen preparing for baptism. He proved to be an outstanding bishop, not afraid to challenge the actions of the emperor and uncompromising in his struggle against Arianism.

If it is “daily bread,” why do you take it once a year? … Take daily what is to profit you daily. Live in such a way that you may deserve to receive it daily. He who does not deserve to receive it daily, does not deserve to receive it once a year.

– St Ambrose

Who was St Ambrose?

Today’s saint is written by Fr Nicholas Schofield in Saints of the Roman Calendar.

St Ambrose (c.340-397) was born in Trier (now in Germany, but then capital of the Roman prefecture of Gaul) and worked as a lawyer. In 370 he was appointed Governor of Liguria and Aemilia, with a residence in Milan. In 374 he was chosen to be the city’s bishop, much to his surprise – not only was he a layman, but he was also not yet baptised: he was a catechumen preparing for baptism. He proved to be an outstanding bishop, not afraid to challenge the actions of the emperor and uncompromising in his struggle against Arianism. His converts included St Augustine and his teachings have led him to be numbered as one of the Latin Doctors of the Church.

Collect for St Ambrose

O God, who made the Bishop Saint Ambrose a teacher of the Catholic faith and a model of apostolic courage, raise up in your Church men after your own heart to govern her with courage and wisdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. et sapienter gubernent.

Collecta

Deus, qui beatum Ambrosium episcopum catholicæ fidei doctorem et apostolicæ fortitudinis exemplum effecisti, excita in Ecclesia tua viros secundum cor tuum, qui eam fortiter. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum.

Prayer of St Ambrose to Prepare for Mass

This prayer can be found in all CTS people’s missals, including The CTS Sunday Missal 2023.

I draw near, loving Lord Jesus Christ,
to the table of your most delightful banquet
in fear and trembling,
a sinner, presuming not upon my own merits,
but trusting rather in your goodness and mercy.
I have a heart and body defiled by my many offences,
a mind and tongue
over which I have kept no good watch.
Therefore, O loving God, O awesome Majesty,
I turn in my misery, caught in snares,
to you the fountain of mercy,
hastening to you for healing,
flying to you for protection;
and while I do not look forward to having you as Judge,
I long to have you as Saviour.
To you, O Lord, I display my wounds,
to you I uncover my shame.
I am aware of my many and great sins,
for which I fear,
but I hope in your mercies,
which are without number.
Look upon me, then, with eyes of mercy,
Lord Jesus Christ, eternal King,
God and Man, crucified for mankind.
Listen to me, as I place my hope in you,
have pity on me, full of miseries and sins,
you, who will never cease
to let the fountain of compassion flow.
Hail, O Saving Victim,
offered for me and for the whole human race
on the wood of the Cross.
Hail, O noble and precious Blood,
flowing from the wounds
of Jesus Christ, my crucified Lord,
and washing away the sins of all the world.
Remember, Lord, your creature,
whom you redeemed by your Blood.
I am repentant of my sins,
I desire to put right what I have done.
Take from me, therefore, most merciful Father,
all my iniquities and sins,
so that, purified in mind and body,
I may worthily taste the Holy of Holies.
And grant that this sacred foretaste
of your Body and Blood
which I, though unworthy, intend to receive,
may be the remission of my sins,
the perfect cleansing of my faults,
the banishment of shameful thoughts,
and the rebirth of right sentiments;
and may it encourage
a wholesome and effective performance
of deeds pleasing to you
and be a most firm defence of body and soul
against the snares of my enemies.
Amen.


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