Friday, December 7, 2012


Genesis 3:

9 - 15, 20

9 But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"
10 And he said, "I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself."
11 He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"
12 The man said, "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate."
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent beguiled me, and I ate."
14 The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
20 The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Psalms 98: 1 - 4

1 O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory.
2 The LORD has made known his victory, he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
Ephesians 1: 3 - 6, 11 - 12

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
5 He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
6 to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
11 In him, according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will,
12 we who first hoped in Christ have been destined and appointed to live for the praise of his glory.
Luke 1: 26 - 38

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!"
29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."
34 And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"
35 And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
36 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing will be impossible."
38 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.


The Immaculate Conception
Feast: December 8

Feast Day:December 8

So great are the advantages we reap from the incarnation of the Son of God that to contemplate it, and to thank and praise him for the same, ought to be the primary object of all our devotions and the employment of our whole lives. In the feast of the Conception of the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God we celebrate the joyful dawning of that bright day of mercy, the first appearance which that most glorious of all pure creatures made in the world, with those first seeds of grace which produced the most admirable fruit in her soul. Her conception was itself a glorious mystery, a great grace, and the first effect of her predestination. Her Divine Son, the eternal God, in the first moment of her being, considered the sublime dignity to which he had decreed to raise her, and remembered that august, dear, sacred, and venerable name of his mother, which she was one day to bear; and he beheld her with a complacency, and distinguished her in a manner, suitable to so near a relation she was to bear. He called her not his servant in whom he gloried, as he did Israel, but his mother, whom for the sake of his own glory he decreed exceedingly to exalt in grace and glory. From that instant the eternal Word of God, which was to take flesh of her, looked upon it as particularly incumbent on him, in the view of his future incarnation, to sanctify this virgin, to enrich her with his choicest gifts, and to heap upon her the most singular favours with a profusion worthy his omnipotence. From that very moment he prepared her to be his most holy tabernacle. When Almighty God commanded a temple to be built to his honour in Jerusalem, what preparations did he not ordain! What purity did he not require in the things that belonged to that work, even in the persons and materials that were employed in it! David, though a great saint, was excepted against by God, because he had been stained with blood spilt in just wars. Again, what purifications, consecrations, rites, and ceremonies did he not order to sanctify all the parts of the building! This for a material temple, in which the ark was to be placed, and men were to offer their homages and sacrifices to his adorable Majesty. What, then, did he not do for Mary in spiritually decking her, whose chaste womb was to be his living tabernacle, from whose pure flesh he was to derive his own most holy body, and of whom he would himself be born!


Vatican City, 7 December 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI today received in audience the members of the International Theological Commission following their plenary session. The Pope expressed his appreciation for the message prepared by the Commission regarding the Year of Faith, which "illustrates well the specific way in which theologians, in loyal service to the truth of faith, may share the Church's evangelising impulse".
The message revisits the themes developed more fully in the document "Theology today, Prospectives, Principles and Criteria", which embodies, in a sense, "the genetic code of Catholic theology, or rather, the principles which define her identity and as a consequence, guarantee her unity in the diversity of her manifestations. ... In a cultural context in which some have been tempted to deprive theology of its academic status on account of its intrinsic links to faith, or to disregard the confessional aspect of theology, at the risk of confusing it with religious sciences, your document provides a timely reminder that theology is in essence confessional and rational, and its presence within university institutions guarantees a broad and complete vision of human reason".
The Pope mentioned that among the criteria of Catholic theology, the document mentions the attention theologians should reserve for the 'sensus fidelium'. "Vatican Council II, confirming the specific and irreplaceable role of the Magisterium, emphasised that the People of God as a whole participate in Christ's prophetic role. ... This gift, the 'sensus fidei', constitutes in believers a sort of supernatural instinct which shares a vital connaturality with the very object of faith. ... It is a criterion for ascertaining whether or not a certain truth belongs to the living depository of the apostolic tradition. It also has a proactive value as the Holy Spirit never ceases to speak of the Church and to guide her towards the fullness of truth. Nowadays, however, it is particularly important to specify the criteria which permit the authentic 'sensus fidelium' to be distinguished from its imitations. This is not in fact a form of ecclesial public opinion, and it would be unthinkable to refer to it to challenge the teachings of the Magisterium, since the 'sensus fidei' cannot truly develop in a believer other than to the extent to which he participates fully in the life of the Church, and it therefore necessitates responsible adhesion to her Magisterium".
"Nowadays, this supernatural sense of the faith of believers leads to a vigorous reaction against the prejudice according to which religions, and in particular monotheistic religions, are intrinsically predisposed to violence, especially on the pretext that they lay claim to a universal truth. Some maintain that only a 'polytheism of values' would guarantee tolerance and civil peace by conforming to the spirit of a pluralistic democratic society. ... On the one hand, it is important to remember that faith in one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, meets the rational demands of metaphysical reflection, which is not weakened, but rather strengthened and deepened by the Revelation of the mystery of the Triune God. On the other hand, it is necessary to emphasise the form that the definitive Revelation of the mystery of the Triune God takes in the life and death of Jesus Christ, led unto the cross like 'a lamb that is led to the slaughter'. The Lord offers a radical refusal of any form of hate or violence in favour of the absolute primacy of agape. While throughout history there have been or indeed there are forms of violence carried out in the name of God, these cannot be attributed to monotheism, but rather to historical causes, and in particular to human error. It is, rather, an oblivion to God that immerses human society in a form of relativism, which ineluctably generates violence. Once the possibility of referring to a form of objective truth is negated to all, dialogue becomes impossible and violence, whether declared or concealed, becomes the rule governing human relations. Without opening up to the transcendent, which enables us to find answers to our questions on the meaning of life and how to live in a moral fashion, man becomes incapable of acting with justice or committing himself to peace".
"If the rupture in man's relations with God brings with it a profound imbalance in relations within mankind itself, reconciliation with God brought about by Christ on the Cross, 'our peace', is the fundamental source of unity and fraternity", continued the Holy Father. "This also links to your discussion on the social doctrine of the Church within the doctrine of the faith as a whole. It confirms that social doctrine is not an extrinsic addition but, without neglecting the contribution of a healthy social philosophy, draws its basic principles from the same source as faith. This doctrine renders effective, in the great variety of social situations, the new commandment that the Lord Jesus gave to us: 'Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another'".
Vatican City, 7 December 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has today sent a letter of condolence to the Metropolitan Spyridon of Heliopolis for the death of His Beatitude Archbishop Ignatius Hazim IV, Greek Orthodox patriarch of Antioch and all the East, who died on 5 December at the age of 92.
In the text, the Holy Father observes that "during his long life of service to the Gospel, the deceased patriarch offered luminous testimony to faith and charity, working with dedication for the spiritual elevation of the flock entrusted to him and for the noble cause of reconciliation and peace among men.
"I render thanks to God for the positive and effective contribution the late Patriarch Ignatius made to the process of conciliation between our two Churches. Let his memory invite us to continue on the path of dialogue and the search for full communion in Christ!" concluded the Pope.
Vatican City, 7 December 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Pope attended the first sermon of Advent delivered by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap., preacher of the Pontifical Household, on the theme: "A year of the Lord's favour".
Vatican City, 7 December 2012 (VIS) - Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, spoke at the twenty-ninth meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which took place in Dublin, Ireland on 6 and 7 December.
The archbishop mentioned that "among the fundamental freedoms, the right to freedom of religion figures prominently for the Holy See. The OSCE has always emphasised the positive contributions of religious communities to society. In this sense, the activity of the OSCE has ensured that public debate gives space to viewpoints inspired by a religious vision in all its dimensions, including ritual, worship, education, dissemination of information and the freedom to profess and choose one’s religion".
"In fact, the rights associated with religion are all the more in need of protection if they are considered to clash with a prevailing secular ideology or with majority religious positions of an exclusive nature", he continued. "The full guarantee of religious freedom cannot be limited only to the free exercise of worship, but has to give due consideration to the public dimension of religion, and hence to the possibility of believers playing their part in building the social order".
"With the increase of religious intolerance throughout the world, it is well documented that Christians are among those most discriminated against, even within the OSCE region. In spite of the commitments undertaken by participating States in the area of religious freedom, in some countries intolerant and even discriminatory laws, decisions and behaviour, either by action or omission ... deny this freedom", he added.
Vatican City, 7 December 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Georgios Papadopoulos, the new ambassador of Greece to the Holy See, for the presentation of his Letters of Credence.
- Cesar Castillo Ramirez, ambassador of Peru, accompanied by his wife, on his farewell visit.
Vatican City, 7 December 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
- Msgr. Georg Glaswein as prefect of the Pontifical House, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Waldshutt, Germany in 1956 and was ordained a priest in 1984. He has served in the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he held the role of personal secretary to the prefect. He has served as personal secretary to Pope Benedict XVI since his election to the pontificate.
- Fr. Peter Ebere Okpaleke of the clergy of Awka, Nigeria, as bishop of Ahiara (area 425, population 620,000, Catholics 478,000, priests 127, religious 113), Nigeria. The bishop-elect was born in Amesi, Nigeria in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1992. He undertook higher studies in Canon Law at the Holy Cross Pontifical University in Rome, and has held a number of pastoral roles. He is currently a judge at the inter-diocesan tribunal of Onitsha.
- Fr. Adelio Dell'Oro, of the clergy of the archdiocese of Milan, Italy, as apostolic administrator of Atyrau (area 727,600, population 2,181,000, Catholics 2,000, priests 17, religious 14), Kazakhstan, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of bishop. The bishop-elect was born in Milan, Italy in 1948 and ordained a priest in 1972. From 1997 to 2007 he was the spiritual director of the interdiocesan seminary of Karaganda in Kazakhstan and director of Caritas Kazakhstan. From 2007 to 2009 he fulfilled a pastoral role in the archdiocese of Maria Santissima in Astana and taught pastoral theology at the major seminary of Karaganda. He is currently pro-rector of the Collegio Guastalla, Monza, and assistant to the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation for the Archdiocese of Milan.
- Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Good Health in Vailankanni, India, and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the institution of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), due to take place from 9 to 11 February 2013.
- Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the twenty-first World Day of the Sick, due to take place at the Marian sanctuary of Altotting, Germany on 11 February 2013.




ASIA NEWS IT REPORT: Gospel for Asia, a missionary organisation operating in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal is behind the initiative. Potential donors can pick their gift on the group's website, whether it is chickens, goats, buffaloes, sewing machines, Bibles, literacy training and wells.

Mumbai (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Forget about Christmas presents! This year you can help the poor and needy by giving them a chicken, a goat or a sewing machine. Gospel for Asia, a Protestant missionary organisation operating in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal, is behind the initiative. Called 'Forgotten Christmas,' the project is designed to give useful gifts to families in difficulty, mostly Dalits. Donors can pick their gift on the group's website and send the money to purchase it.

A pair of chickens can be purchased for US$ 11 and will provide a family some 200-300 eggs per year as well as hatchlings for food or sale. A goat that goes for US$ 70 will produce nutritious milk and one offspring per year. With US$ 460, donors can offer a buffalo that provides milk and can be used to move loads or plough the land.

A US$ 85 sewing machine can change a woman's life, taking her off the streets to starting her own small business and supporting her family.

Through 'Forgotten Christmas,' donors can buy water purification systems (US$ 30), dig wells (US$ 1,000), donate Bibles (seven copies for US$ 21) and fund women's literacy programmes (US$ 25). Last but not least, for US$ 420, a Dalit child can go to school for a year.

"Even as the West is caught up in Black Friday, shopping malls and long lines at cash registers, millions of people are struggling to provide the bare necessities of food, clean water and shelter for their families," said K. P. Yohannan, founder and president of Gospel for Asia. "Forgotten Christmas is one way to supply the needs of the most impoverished while rediscovering the true joy of Christmas."

What is more, "The priceless gift of Immanuel, God with us, reminds us how to give to those who need it most," Yohannan noted. "Now is the time to remember the persecuted believers, those who have never heard the gospel and those who have newly welcomed it in other parts of the world."



Not another program but part of a movement for life, marriage and religious liberty
Invitation to 'prayer and penance,' Archbishop Cordileone says
Second Fortnight for Freedom June/July being planned

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Catholic bishops have launched a pastoral strategy addressing critical life, marriage and religious liberty concerns. The five-part strategy or call to prayer was approved by the bishops in November and is set to begin after Christmas. The overall focus is to invite Catholics to pray for rebuilding a culture favorable to life and marriage and for increased protections of religious liberty.
Campaign components include monthly Eucharistic holy hours in cathedrals and parishes, daily family rosary, special Prayers of the Faithful at all Masses, fasting and abstinence on Fridays, and the second observance of a Fortnight for Freedom.
The call to prayer is prompted by the rapid social movements and policy changes currently underway, such as the mandate by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that coerces employers, including heads of religious agencies, to pay for sterilizations, abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives, as well as increased efforts to redefine marriage.
"The pastoral strategy is essentially a call and encouragement to prayer and sacrifice—it's meant to be simple," said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. "It's not meant to be another program but rather part of a movement for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, which engages the New Evangelization and can be incorporated into the Year of Faith. Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty are not only foundational to Catholic social teaching but also fundamental to the good of society," he said.
Details of the strategy follow:
1.Starting with the Sunday after Christmas (Feast of the Holy Family) and continuing on or near the last Sunday of every month through Christ the King Sunday, November 2013, cathedrals and parishes are encouraged to hold a Eucharistic Holy Hour for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty.
2.Families and individuals are encouraged to pray a daily Rosary, especially for the preservation of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty in the nation.
3.At Sunday and daily Masses, it is encouraged that the Prayers of the Faithful include specific intentions for respect for all human life from conception to natural death, the strengthening of marriage and family life, and the preservation of religious libertyat all levels of government, both at home and abroad.
4.Abstinencefrom meat and fasting on Fridays are encouraged for the intention of the protection of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, recognizing the importance of spiritual and bodily sacrifice in the life of the Church.
5.The celebration of a second Fortnight for Freedom at the end of June and the beginning of July 2013 is being planned. This Fortnight would emphasize faith and marriage in a particular way in the face of the potential Supreme Court rulings during this time. The Fortnight would also emphasize the need for conscience protection in light of the August 1, 2013 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate, as well as religious freedom concerns in other areas, such as immigration, adoption, and humanitarian services.
A website with resources from the USCCB is available at:
"With the challenges this country is facing, it is hoped that this call to prayer and penance will help build awareness among the faithful as well as spiritual stamina and courage for effective witness. We also hope that it will encourage solidarity with all people who are standing for the precious gifts of life, marriage, and religious liberty," Archbishop Cordileone said.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
7 Dec 2012

105,000 Australians are currently homeless
The St Vincent de Paul Society of NSW has pledged to find 120 homeless families or single men and women longterm accommodation in private rental properties over the next 12 months as part of the Government's Rapid Rehousing initiative.
This week the NSW Government announced it had chosen Vinnies as a partner in the pilot program which will trial new approaches to break the cycle of homelessness.
To enable Vinnies to access affordable long term rental properties for families and individuals who are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness, as well as provide the back up support services necessary to help them make the transition from the uncertainty of temporary often overcrowded accommodation, the NSW Government will release $1 million to its partner agency.
"St Vincent de Paul Society is a leading provider of homeless services in NSW and as such is well placed to work in homelessness prevention and intervention," says Michael Perusco, CEO of Vinnies NSW.

The Vinnies chief who has a passion for social justice and is dedicated to eliminating homelessness, has long lobbied for an increased commitment to public and social housing by both the state and commonwealth governments to help break the cycle of homelessness.
Lack of affordable housing leads to homelessness, financial stress and insecurity
Three weeks ago, he welcomed an announcement by Federal Minister for Housing, Brendan O'Connor that the Commonwealth would commit one year's interim funding to the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness while a new agreement was negotiated, and expressed his concern that the number of homeless continued to rise.
In figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics last month based on analysis of the 2011 Census it was found that the number of homeless men, women and children had increased by 17% on the 2006 Census stats with this percentage as high as 20% in NSW. Overall it was found that there are now 105,237 people who are sleeping rough each night or living in crowded insecure accommodation.

Michael Perusco, CEO of Society of St Vincent de Paul NSW
At the time Mr Perusco said one of the key factors in this increase was the lack of affordable housing, particularly in cities such as Sydney.
"Sydney's housing market is in crisis and fundamental reform is required to ensure it delivers for all Australians," he said pointing out that the nation's housing market produced high gains for some, largely as a result of tax incentives such as negative gearing, while simultaneously driving others into poverty or keeping them in the grinding misery of homelessness.
Now hot on the heels of last month's promise by the Federal Government's to provide interim funding the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, comes the promise by the NSW Government's Department of Family and Community Services to partner with Vinnies and help fund a pilot initiative to combat homelessness by finding permanent affordable rentals for some of the city's most vulnerable.
"Across the State our members visit people in their homes and provide financial assistance to help them meet the cost of living pressures and to help prevent them from falling deeper into crisis and potential homelessness," says Michael Perusco. "Day to day we see the challenges people face in accessing safe and affordable accommodation and it is very encouraging to see the NSW Government establishing a program that will help improve access to the private rental market."

Commitment to public and social housing crucial to break cycle of homelessness
Mr Persuco also pointed out that Vinnies operates more than 40 services for men, women, families and single parents experiencing homelessness to help them get back on their feet as fast as possible. These services matched with Vinnies' experience will be invaluable in the pilot program which will offer long term security to 120 individuals or families who currently have no place to call home.
While this latest initiative to try to combat homelessness has been welcomed by Vinnies, NSW President of the Society, Ray Reynolds warns that the increase in homelessness figures as shown by the 2011 Census leaves no room for complacency.
"The increase in the number of those who are homeless is completely unacceptable in a country as wealthy as Australia and shows there is still a lot of work to be done to address this issue. Far too many Australians are being pushed to the margins of society and are struggling to find a way out and to rebuild their lives," he says.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - "It is a joy to be singing together waiting for Christmas" says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, where this afternoon the small Catholic community will celebrate the feast of the "Candelight ". "This is a Christmas song event according to the different traditions. There are several choirs, in particular in African and Philippines, all of whom will sing Christmas in their own language," explains Mgr. Martinelli. "It is a tried and tested tradition of our community. It is called Candelight because it ends with switching off the lights and the lighting up of a candle by each participant. Then all together they sing Silent Night." "The community is composed mainly of foreign workers, even if families have so far been few, but we hope that with time they too can return to Libya," concluded Mgr.Martinelli. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 07/12/2012)


Matthew 9:

27 - 31

27 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, "Have mercy on us, Son of David."
28 When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to him, "Yes, Lord."
29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith be it done to you."
30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, "See that no one knows it."
31 But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.


St. Ambrose
Feast: December 7

Feast Day:December 7
between 337 and 340 A.D., Trier, Germany
Died:397 A.D.
Major Shrine:Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, Milan, Italy where he is buried
Patron of:Bee keepers, bees, candle makers, domestic animals, French Commissariat, learning, Milan, Italy, students, wax refiners

St. Ambrose was a small man with pale yellow hair like a nimbus. In the violence and confusion of his time, he stood out courageously resisting evil, strengthening the Church, and administering it with extraordinary ability. His learning gained for him the title of Doctor of the Church.

When Ambrose had governed at Milan for two years, the bishop died, and the city was torn by strife over the election of a successor. When he stood up to protest a voice suddenly called out, "Ambrose, bishop! On December 7, 374, he was consecrated. The new bishop now gave his possessions to the poor and his lands to the Church, reserving only a small income for the use of his sister Marcellina.

Conscious of his ignorance of theology, Ambrose began to study the Scriptures and the works of religious writers, particularly Origen and Basil.

When Augustine of Hippo came to live at Milan, he called on the bishop, and in time the two became great friends. Augustine went often to hear Ambrose preach, and was at last baptized by him. One of Ambrose's topics was the blessing and virtue of virginity, when chosen for God's sake. At the request of Marcellina, he made a popular manual of his sermons on this subject.

When Ambrose fell sick, he foretold his own death, saying he would live only until Easter. He busied himself writing a treatise called 'The Goodness of Death', and with an interpretation of the Forty-third Psalm.

On Good Friday, 397, he partook of the Last Sacrament, and died soon after. He was then about fifty-seven and had been bishop for twenty-two years. His remains now rest under the high altar of his basilica, where they were placed in 835.

Ambrose's varied writings influenced the development of the Church. He was the first of the Fathers to use Latin effectively, and as the Roman Empire declined in the West he helped to keep this great language alive by starting it on its new course in the service of Christianity. He enriched Church music, and seven of the hymns he wrote are still a part of the liturgy. His personality combined firmness where God's law was concerned with warmth, moderation, and generosity in all else. Trusted by sovereigns, loved by the people, Ambrose was-to quote Augustine's words after their first meeting—"a man affectionate and kind."
source EWTN