Thursday, December 07, 2023

The Feast of St Ambrose 2023

Truly it is worthy and just... eternal God. Who in Thy Holy Catholic Church dost so arrange and order the priests as to make for Thyself a Church having no spot or wrinkle. (Eph. 5, 27) Who didst of old on the solemnity of this day deign to raise up the throne of Thy disciple Ambrose, confessor and priest, that when he had laid down secular office, and renounced public honor, Thou might make him the teacher and judge of Thy flock, and strengthen him before the Church as a shepherd. For his sake, we your subjects ask that Thou who didst suddenly exalt him as a bishop for Thy sheep, and through the voice of the people, choose Him as pastor for Thy flock, may by his prayers make us holier, having driven away our sins, and render Thy people more just, as it celebrates the solemnity of this day; that as shepherd and sheep together, by following in his footsteps, we may merit to come to the heavenly kingdom. (The Ambrosian Rite preface for the feast of St Ambrose.)

St Ambrose Bars the Emperor Theodosius from Entering the Cathedral, 1619-20, by the Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641). The holy bishop had excommunicated the emperor after his troops had massacred a large number of civilians during a riot in the Greek city of Thessalonica; the excommunication was not lifted until the emperor had publicly repented. (Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.)
VD: Qui in Ecclesia tua sancta Catholica, ita sacerdotes disponis et ordinas, ut efficias tibi Ecclesiam non habentem maculam, neque rugam. Qui olim diei huius sollemnitate alumni tui Ambrosii, Confessoris et sacerdotis, sublimare dignatus es cathedram, ut fasce saeculari deposito, et publico honore abiecto, Doctorem et iudicem gregis tui efficeres, et pastorem Ecclesiae praefirmares. Pro quo precamur subiecti, ut qui eum extemplo ovibus tuis sublimasti pontificem, et ex voce plebis gregi tuo praeelegisti pastorem, nos eius precibus explosis piaculis efficias sanctiores, et plebem tuam, huius diei sollemnia celebrantem, efficias iustiorem: ut pastor cum ovibus, eius sequendo vestigia, simul mereamur pervenire ad caelestia regna. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem maiestatem tuam laudant angeli, venerantur archangeli, Throni, Dominationes, Virtutes, Principatus et Pot estates adorant. Quem Cherubim.

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