Monday, April 04, 2011

Two Fathers of the Church for April 4th

St. Ambrose of Milan is one of the great Fathers of the Church whose name is associated with one of the great liturgical traditions of the West. He left us an important treatise, On the Mysteries. I had the great joy to visit the Archdiocese of Milan with its historic churches, including the saint's relics in the basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, which also houses a venerable mosaic of the saint.

Today in the Roman Martyrology, we read of the death of St. Ambrose:

"At Milan, the death of St. Ambrose, bishop and confessor, doctor of the Church. By his zeal, besides other monuments to his learning and miracles, almost all Italy returned to the Catholic faith at the time of the Arian heresy. His feast is properly kept on the seventh of December, on which day he became Bishop of Milan."

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Today's entry in the martyrology makes note of another great saint, St. Isidore of Seville. St. Isidore left us a work, De ecclesiasticis officiis, which treats of divine worship and the old Spanish liturgy. From the martyrology:

"At Seville in Spain, St. Isidore, bishop, confessor, and doctor of the Church. He was conspicuous for sanctity and learning, and had brightened all Spain by his zeal for the Catholic faith and his observance of Church discipline."

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