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St Ambrose

Saint Ambrose is one of the four Doctors of the Church (with Saints Augustine, Jerome and Gregory the Great). The son of a Roman prefect, he was a lawyer, and governor of the province which included Milan; he was chosen by popular acclaim to become bishop of Milan in 374.

His teaching was practical and he introduced the use of hymns as a means of popular worship. Saint Augustine was baptised by him.

Ambrose regarded the emperor as not above the church. When Theodosius I conducted horrific reprisals for the death of an official, Ambrose made him do public penance.

He is usually shown as a bishop, sometimes with a scourge, or with a beehive because a swarm of bees symbolising his future eloquence settled on him when he was a child.