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Rome Reports

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Saint Ambrose of Milan, according to Benedict XVI

BENEDICT XVI (24-10-2007) ;

“In our catechesis on the teachers of the ancient Church, we now turn to Saint Ambrose of Milan. Born into a Christian family in the middle of the fourth century, Ambrose was educated in Rome and sent as governor to Milan, where, although a catechumen, he was soon acclaimed as Bishop. ;

He set about mastering the Scriptures, guided by the writings of Origen and the practice of lectio divina, a form of prayerful meditation on the word of God. It was Ambrose who introduced this practice to the West, and it deeply permeated his life and preaching. Saint Augustine, who was converted in Milan and baptized by Ambrose, relates the profound impression which Ambrose’s engagement with the word of God left upon him. Ambrose, contrary to the custom of the time, did not read the Scriptures aloud, which Augustine interpreted as a sign of how deeply the inspired word had penetrated the holy Bishop’s mind and heart. This image can serve as an "icon" of Ambrose as a catechist: his teaching was inseparable from his prayer and his entire life. For Ambrose, Christ was everything – Omnia Christus est nobis! – and so it must be for every catechist and indeed for every one of the Lord’s disciples.”