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Ambrose of Milan: On the Mysteries Introduction

Who: Bishop of Milan from 374 to 397; born around 340, at Trier, Arles, or Lyons; died 4 April, 397. He was one of the most well known and respected Fathers and Doctors1 of the Church.

What: The treatise was composed for use during the latter part of Lent, for the benefit of those about to be baptised, explaining the rites and meaning of that Sacrament, as well as Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. All these matters were treated with the greatest respect and were set aside in the Early Church, for fear of being misused by unbelievers.

Why: Ambrose states that after the explanations he has already given of holy living (in previous lectures he has written), he will now explain the 'Mysteries'. Then after giving his reasons for not having done so before, he explains the mystery of the opening of the ears, and shows how this was done by Christ Himself in times of old.

When: About 387 AD

 


1This was a title given to certain people on account of the great advantage the whole Church has obtained from their doctrine.


Keywords: post-nicene fathers ambrose of milan introduction mysteries Lent