7 December • yesterday
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• tomorrow
Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you—for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart… The guest of our soul knows our misery; He comes to find an empty tent within us—that is all He asks. - Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Catena Aurea: The Golden Chain of Commentary on The Gospel of Mark, by Saint Thomas Aquinas, Mark 8:1-10, Feeding the Four Thousand
Prince of Peace by Archbishop Alban Goodier: The Spouse of Mary
Sorrowful Mysteries - youtube

A Jesse Tree reading for 7 December - Jacob - Genesis 25:1-34; 28:10-15

Abraham took another wife, whose name was Ketu'rah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Mid'ian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshu'rim, Letu'shim, and Le-um'mim. The sons of Mid'ian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abi'da, and Elda'ah. All these were the children of Ketu'rah. Abraham gave all he had to Isaac. But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, and while he was still living he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country.

These are the days of the years of Abraham's life, a hundred and seventy-five years. Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. Isaac and Ish'mael his sons buried him in the cave of Mach-pe'lah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre, the field which Abraham purchased from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried, with Sarah his wife. After the death of Abraham God blessed Isaac his son. And Isaac dwelt at Beer-la'hai-roi.

These are the descendants of Ish'mael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's maid, bore to Abraham. These are the names of the sons of Ish'mael, named in the order of their birth: Neba'ioth, the first-born of Ish'mael; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Ked'emah. These are the sons of Ish'mael and these are their names, by their villages and by their encampments, twelve princes according to their tribes. (These are the years of the life of Ish'mael, a hundred and thirty-seven years; he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his kindred.) They dwelt from Hav'ilah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt in the direction of Assyria; he settled over against all his people.

These are the descendants of Isaac, Abraham's son: Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac was forty years old when he took to wife Rebekah, the daughter of Bethu'el the Arame'an of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Arame'an. And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. The children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is thus, why do I live?" So she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said to her,

"Two nations are in your womb,
   and two peoples, born of you, shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
   the elder shall serve the younger."

When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. The first came forth red, all his body like a hairy mantle; so they called his name Esau. Afterward his brother came forth, and his hand had taken hold of Esau's heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

When the boys grew up, Esau was a skilful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau, because he ate of his game; but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Once when Jacob was boiling pottage, Esau came in from the field, and he was famished. And Esau said to Jacob, "Let me eat some of that red pottage, for I am famished!" (Therefore his name was called Edom.) Jacob said, "First sell me your birthright." Esau said, "I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?" Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils, and he ate and drank, and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

Jacob left Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. And he came to a certain place, and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, "I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your descendants; and your descendants shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and by you and your descendants shall all the families of the earth bless themselves. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done that of which I have spoken to you."


Saint Ambrose of Milan

Also known as

• The Honey Tongued Doctor
• Ambreuil, Ambrogio, Ambroise, Ambrosius, Ambrun, Embrun

Additional Memorials

• 4 April (Old Catholics; Lutherans)
• 20 December (Orthodox)

Profile

Born to the Roman nobility. Brother of Saint Marcellina and Saint Satyrus. Educated in the classics, Greek, and philosophy at Rome, Italy. Poet and noted orator. Convert to Christianity. Governor of Milan, Italy.

When the bishop of Milan died, a dispute over his replacement led to violence. Ambrose intervened to calm both sides; he impressed everyone involved so much that though he was still an unbaptized catechumen, he was chosen as the new bishop. He resisted, claiming that he was not worthy, but to prevent further violence, he assented, and on 7 December 374 he was baptized, ordained as a priest, and consecrated as bishop. He immediately gave away his wealth to the Church and the poor, both for the good it did, and as an example to his flock.

Noted preacher and teacher, a Bible student of renown, and writer of liturgical hymns. He stood firm against paganism and Arians. His preaching helped convert Saint Augustine of Hippo, whom Ambrose baptized and brought into the Church. Ambrose's preaching brought Emperor Theodosius to do public penance for his sins. He called and chaired several theological councils during his time as bishop, many devoted to fighting heresy. Welcomed Saint Ursus and Saint Alban of Mainz when they fled Naxos to escape Arian persecution, and then sent them on to evangelize in Gaul and Germany. Proclaimed a great Doctor of the Latin Church by Pope Boniface VIII in 1298.

The title Honey Tongued Doctor was initially bestowed on Ambrose because of his speaking and preaching ability; this led to the use of a beehive and bees in his iconography, symbols which also indicate wisdom. This led to his association with bees, beekeepers, chandlers, wax refiners, etc.

Born

c.340 in Trier, southern Gaul (modern Germany)

Died

• Holy Saturday, 4 April 397 at Milan, Italy of natural causes
• relics at basilica of Milan

Patronage

• bee keepers
• bees
• bishops
• candle makers
• chandlers
• domestic animals
• French Commissariat
• geese
• honey cake bakers
• learning
• livestock
• police officers
• schoolchildren
• security personnel
• starlings
• students
• wax melters
• wax refiners
• archdiocese of Milan, Italy
• 8 cities

Representation

• baby with bees on his mouth
• beehive
• bees
• bishop holding a church
• bones, referring to the relics of Saint Gervase and Saint Protase which were revealed to him in a vision
• dove
• man arguing with a pagan
• ox
• pen
• lash, whip or scourge, usually with three thongs; represents the doctrine of the Trinity which defeated the Arian
• with Saint Gregory the Great, Saint Jerome and Saint Augustine of Hippo
• beehive at his feet
• books
• at the grave of Saint Martin of Tours (Ambrose saw his burial in a vision)
• with Saint Protase and Saint Gervase (they appeared to Ambrose in a vision to lead him to their lost relics)

Storefront

medals and pendants, page 1
medals and pendants, page 2
medals and pendants, page 3
medals and pendants, page 4
medals and pendants

Video

YouTube PlayList
On the Duties of the Clergy (audio book)

Readings

No one heals himself by wounding another. - Saint Ambrose

Our own evil inclinations are far more dangerous than any external enemies. - Saint Ambrose

But if these beings angels guard you, they do so because they have been summoned by your prayers. - Saint Ambrose

The Church of the Lord is built upon the rock of the apostles among so many dangers in the world; it therefore remains unmoved. The Church's foundation is unshakable and firm against assaults of the raging sea. Waves lash at the Church but do not shatter it. Although the elements of this world constantly beat upon the Church with crashing sounds, the Church possesses the safest harbor of salvation for all in distress.

There is a stream which flows down on God's saints like a torrent. There is also a rushing river giving joy to the heart that is at peace and makes for peace.

He who read much and understands much, receives his fill. He who is full, refreshes others. So Scripture says: "If the clouds are full, they will pour rain upon the earth."

Therefore, let your words be rivers, clean and limpid, so that you may charm the ears of people. And by the grace of your words win them over to follow your leadership. Solomon says: "The weapons of the understanding are the lips of the wise"; and in another place he says: "Let your lips be bound with wisdom." That is, let the meaning of your words shine forth, let understanding blaze out. Let no word escape your lips in vain or be uttered without depth of meaning. - from a letter by Saint Ambrose

To avoid dissensions we should be ever on our guard, more especially with those who drive us to argue with them, with those who vex and irritate us, and who say things likely to excite us to anger. When we find ourselves in company with quarrelsome, eccentric individuals, people who openly and unblushingly say the most shocking things, difficult to put up with, we should take refuge in silence, and the wisest plan is not to reply to people whose behavior is so preposterous. Those who insult us and treat us contumeliously are anxious for a spiteful and sarcastic reply: the silence we then affect disheartens them, and they cannot avoid showing their vexation; they do all they can to provoke us and to elicit a reply, but the best way to baffle them is to say nothing, refuse to argue with them, and to leave them to chew the cud of their hasty anger. This method of bringing down their pride disarms them, and shows them plainly that we slight and despise them. - Saint Ambrose, Offices

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-ambrose-of-milan/


Saint John the Silent

Also known as

• John Hesychastes
• John Sabaites
• John Silentiarius
• John the Silent

Profile

Son of Enkratios, a military commander, and Euphemia; his brother and other family members were advisors to emperors. John received an excellent secular and religious education. His parents died in 471, and at age 18 John used his inheritance to build the Church of the Most Holy Mother of God in Nicopolis. By age 20 he had founded a monastery for himself and ten fellow young monks. Bishop of Colonia (Taxara) by age 28; ecclesiastical duties permitting, he continued to live as a monk.

In his tenth year as bishop, his brother-in-law, Pazinikos, was appointed governor of Armenia, and immediately began meddling in Church affairs. Overwhelmed by secular matters he was not prepared for, he secretly fled to Jerusalem, praying for a place to hide from the world. Accepted as a novice at Saint Sabas monastery, working as a steward and construction worker. After four years at the monastery, he was being considered for ordination, and felt compelled to reveal his secret life to the Jerusalem Patriarch Elias. Elias permitted him to take a vow of silence, and wall himself into his cell for another four years.

Lived as a hermit in a hut built against a rock face in the desert wilderness for nine years; legend says he was protected from brigands by a lion that stayed nearby. Saint Sava convinced John to return to the monastery. His secret came out, and he lived many years at the monastery under the protection of Sava. Late in life he left his solitude to fight the Origenists. Miracle worker. Healer. Exorcist.

Born

8 January 454 at Nicopolis, Armenia

Died

8 January 558 in Jerusalem of natural causes

Representation

bishop with a finger to his lips

Video

YouTube PlayList

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-john-the-silent/


Saint Mary Joseph Rosello

Also known as

• Benedetta Rossello
• Benedicta Rossello
• Josepha Rossello
• Maria Giuseppe Rossello
• Maria Joseph Rollo
• Sister Mary-Joseph

Profile

One of nine children, her father was a potter. Born in poverty, she suffered from poor health all her life. Pious from early youth she tried to enter a religious order, but was refused admission due to her health and lack of dowry. The pious, childless couple she worked for could have given her a dowry, but would not because they did not want to lose her as member of their family. Franciscan tertiary at age 16.

Her bishop knew of her skill in teaching the faith to girls, and in 1837 he gave her a house which she and three other young women made into two classrooms. From this humble beginning came the Institute of the Daughters of Mercy in 1837 under the protection of Our Lady of Mercy and Saint Joseph, groups devoted to teaching the young, and caring for the sick. Any deserving girl would be accepted into the community, even without a dowry. Mary Joseph served as superior of this band of teachers for over 40 years. In 1875 they opened their first house in the Americas at Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Josepha's success and personal holiness were such that her bishop, over strong objection from many, allowed her to organize a group that encouraged vocations to the priesthood.

Born

1811 at Albissola Marina, Liguria, diocese of Savona, Italy as Benedetta Rossello

Died

7 December 1888 at Savona, Italy of natural causes

Canonized

1949 by Pope Pius XII

Readings

The hands should be at work, the heart with God. - Saint Mary Joseph

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-mary-joseph-rosello/


Saint Sabino of Spoleto

Also known as

• Sabino of Assisi
• Sabinus, Savino

Profile

Bishop, possibly of Spoleto, Italy, during the persecutions of Diocletian; he was imprisoned in Assisi and Spoleto, Italy. As punishment for continuing to spread Christianity in defiance of imperial decrees, Sabino had his hands amputated so he could live on as an example to others. While imprisoned, Sabino restored the sight of a blind fellow prisoner. The prison's executioner, who had chopped off the hands, suffered from an eye disease and went to see Sabino; the bishop healed the man, and talked to him about Christianity; the other guards were so angry at the continual defiance, they beat Sabino to death. Martyr.

Died

• beaten by prison guards c.303 in Spoleto, Italy
• some relics stolen in 954 by Duke Conrad of Spoleto, and taken to Ivrea, Italy in order to combat an epidemic that was raging in the city; miracles reported in connection with the relics, and they were processed through the center of the old city every 7 July for centuries

Patronage

• Fermo, Italy
• Ivrea, Italy

Representation

• blind or blindfolded bishop
• bishop having his hands cut off
• bishop with no hands preaching

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-sabinus-of-spoleto/


Saint Burgundofara

Also known as

Burgondophora, Fare, Fara

Profile

Sister of Saint Cagnoald and Saint Faro of Meaux; daughter of Count Agneric, courtier of King Theodebert II. As a baby, she was blessed by Saint Columbanus.

Burgundofara was early drawn to a religious vocation, despite her father's fierce opposition. He demanded that she marry, and arranged a marriage for her. The girl became deathly ill, and when she was miraculously healed by Saint Eustace, Burgundofara's father gave in, and built his daughter a convent. It followed the Rule of Saint Columban, and is now known as the Benedictine abbey of Faremoutiers.

Abbess for 37 years, noted for her piety and administrative skill. She trained many English nun-saints, including Saint Ethelburga. Bede refers to her, which led to the mistaken idea that she died in England.

Born

595 in Burgundy, France

Died

643 or 655 or 657 near Meaux, France (records vary) of natural causes

Patronage

Faremoutiers, France

Representation

• abbess with an ear of corn
• a child being blessed by Saint Columbanus

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-burgundofara/


Saint Charles Garnier

Additional Memorials

• 19 October as one of the Martyrs of North America
• 26 September in Canada

Profile

Son of the wealthy Jean G and Anne de Garault. A studious lad whose health was never strong, he early felt a call to religious life. Studied classics, philosophy and theology at the Jesuit college of Clermont, France. Joined the Jesuits in 1624. Ordained in 1634. Missionary to Canada in 1636. Missionary to the Huron for 13 years, one of the famous "black robes" who lived in terrible conditions to bring the faith to the far north. Died when the fort at which he was stationed was attacked by Iroquois. Charles spent his last hours ministering to the dying before he was murdered. Martyr.

Born

1606 in Paris, France

Died

shot in the chest and abdomen, and tomahawked in the head on 7 December 1649 at Fort Saint Jean, Canada

Canonized

29 June 1930 by Pope Pius XI

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-charles-garnier/


Saint Athenodorus of Mesopotamia

Also known as

Athenodoros

Profile

Tortured and martyred in the persecutions of Eleusis and Diocletian.

Died

• sentenced to be burned at the stake in 304 in Mesopotamia, but the fire would not light
• sentenced to be beheaded, but the executioner dropped dead when he approached Athenodorus
• while another solution was sought, Athenodorus began to pray, and he died quietly

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-athenodorus-of-mesopotamia/


Saint Antonius of Siya

Profile

Married to the daughter of his employer, a wealthy merchant. Moved to Novgorod with the business. Widower. Monk in Kensk. Hermit in the forest around the White Sea. His reputation for holiness attracted disciples, and the Prince of Moscow built a monastery for them. In his later years, Antonius tried to retire to live as a hermit again, but his brother monks followed him.

Born

Archangel, Russia

Died

1556

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-antonius-of-siya/


Blessed Humbert of Clairvaux

Profile

Benedictine monk at Chaise-Deux. Monk at Clairvaux Abbey in 1117. Prior at Clairvaux, appointed by Saint Bernard. Abbot at Igny, France in 1127. Humbert tried to return to Clairvaux, but was ordered back to Igny by Bernard under pain of monastic excommunication. Bernard delivered a touching homily at Humbert's funeral Mass.

Died

1148

http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-humbert-of-clairvaux/


Saint Agatho of Alexandria

Profile

Soldier in Alexandria, Egypt. When he prevented a mob of pagans from desecrating the bodies of Christian martyrs killed in the persecutions of Decius, the mob dragged him to court where he confessed to being a Christian himself. Martyr.

Died

martyred in 250 in Alexandria, Egypt

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-agatho-of-alexandria/


Saint Servus the Martyr

Profile

Born to the nobility. A layman, he was tortured and murdered in the persecutions of the Arian Vandal King Hunneric for adhering to orthodox Christianity.

Born

African

Died

beaten and then dragged over stones until dead in 484 in North Africa

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-servus-the-martyr/


Saint Buithe of Monasterboice

Also known as

• Buithe mac Bronach
• Boethius, Buite

Profile

Pilgrim to Rome who studied in Italy, then returned to Scotland to work as a missionary to the Picts.

Born

Scotland

Died

521

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-buithe-of-monasterboice/


Saint Nilus of Stolbensk

Profile

Spiritual student of Saint Sabas of Pskov. Hermit in the forests in the Tver region. He attracted so many would be students that he moved to a deserted island in Lake Seliguer.

Died

1554 of natural causes

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-nilus-of-stolbensk/


Saint Victor of Piacenza

Profile

First bishop of Piacenza, Italy, a flock he served for over 50 years. Staunch opponent of Arianism. Attended the Council of Sardica.

Died

375 of natural causes

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-victor-of-piacenza/


Saint Geretrannus of Bayeux

Profile

Sixth century bishop of Bayeux, France.

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-geretrannus-of-bayeux/


Saint Diuma

Profile

Missionary and evangelizing bishop in Mercia, England. The modern town of Peterborough, England, grew up around a monastery he founded.

Born

Ireland

Died

658

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-diuma/


Saint Martin of Saujon

Profile

Spiritual student of Saint Martin of Tours. Founded the monastery of Saujon, France.

Died

c.400

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-martin-of-saujon/


Saint Anianas of Chartres

Also known as

Agnan of Chartres

Profile

Fifth century bishop of Chartres, France.

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-anianas-of-chartres/


Saint Urban of Teano

Profile

Bishop of Teano, Campania, Italy.

Died

c.356

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-urban-of-teano/


Saint Polycarp of Antioch

Died

martyred in Antioch

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-polycarp-of-antioch/


Saint Theodore of Antioch

Died

martyred in Antioch

http://catholicsaints.info/saint-theodore-of-antioch/


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