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December 2015 - St. Ambrose and St. Narcisa de Jesús Martillo y Morán

St. Ambrose and St. Narcisa de Jesús Martillo y Morán. Photos: CNS St. Ambrose and St. Narcisa de Jesús Martillo y Morán. Photos: CNS

St. Ambrose

Lawyer was baptized and made bishop in one day

c. 340–397
Feast day: December 7

The son of a Roman official in Gaul, Ambrose was practicing law in Rome when the emperor appointed him governor of the province whose capital was Milan. When that church see became vacant, Ambrose was chosen bishop by acclamation. A catechumen like many of his people, Ambrose was baptized, ordained and consecrated bishop on the same day, Dec. 7, 374. He battled paganism and the Arian heresy, publicly challenged rulers in the Western and Eastern empires, championed hymns as a form of praise, wrote theological treatises and was beloved by his people for his generosity and accessibility. He also baptized St. Augustine of Hippo. One of the four doctors of the Latin church, Ambrose is the patron of bees, stonemasons and catechumens.

 

St. Narcisa de Jesús Martillo y Morán

Orphaned laywoman sought holiness through penance

1832–1869
Feast day: December 8

After she was orphaned as a young person in rural Ecuador, Narcisa moved to Guayaquil, a large coastal town, where she did manual labor for 15 years while devoting herself to prayer and good works. In 1868 she went to Lima, Peru, lodging in the hostel of the Lay Sisters of St. Dominic. This laywoman sought holiness through prayer and self-mortification, often praying alone for eight hours daily and doing penance for four hours nightly, sometimes wearing a crown of thorns or suspending herself from a cross. She was beatified in 1993 and canonized in 2008.

Northwest Catholic - December 2015

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