Daily Martyrology for December 7

At Milan, in 397, St. Ambrose, bishop and doctor of the church. Ambrose was the son of a high Roman official. When his father died, he was raised in Milan by his mother and his sister St. Marcellina (July 17). When he was about 35 and still a catechumen, he was selected by popular acclaim to be bishop of Milan, which was divided between Catholic and Arian Christians. He was generally a conciliator, though he opposed efforts to turn Catholic churches over to Arians, and on several occasions stood his ground against Emperor Theodosius, for whom he preached a laudatory eulogy. He gave away all the church’s gold vessels to help victims of the Gothic invaders, saying, “If the Church possesses gold, it is in order to use it for the needy, not to keep it.” Under the tutelage of St. Simplician (August 13), he studied theology, especially the writings of Origen and Basil.

In Gaul, in 657, the abbess St. Fare. St. Columbanus baptized her. When she insisted on becoming a nun, her father founded for her the double monastery that became known as Faremoûtier-en-Brie, of which she was abbess.

In 1880, in Italy, St. Josepha Rossello. She was born into a large family. She was a lively and intelligent girl who became a Franciscan tertiary when she was sixteen. She worked as a servant in a wealthy household for seven years and sent her earnings to her family. She and three other women offered themselves to the bishop of Savona to undertake a work on behalf of girls and young women in his see city. They were the nucleus of a very fast-growing congregation called the Daughters of Our Lady of Mercy. In 1875 they made their first foundation in South America.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.