The Governor Who Became a Saint

St. Ambrose’s Transformation from Politician to Pastor

The Governor Who Became a Saint

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We all know about famous actors who have gone on to become politicians—mayors, senators, parliament members, and even a US president. But here’s a journey that’s even harder to imagine: what if your mayor or senator became a bishop?

What if he were known to be so wise and compassionate that people from opposing factions and political parties sought him out for advice?

That’s what happened to a fourth-century governor named Aurelius Ambrosius. As an up-and-coming official in the Roman Empire, this young man never imagined that God would call him to help shepherd the Church. But when it happened, he decided to become the best bishop he could possibly be. We know him today as St. Ambrose.

Who, Me? Born around the year 340, Ambrose was the youngest of three children in an ancient Roman family that had embraced Christianity early on. His father held a high government position, and Ambrose followed in his footsteps, rising quickly through the ranks of the civil service. By his early thirties, he was enjoying a good career as a regional governor based…

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