This week has a pair of big feasts as well we begin the week with the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation on Monday and on Friday we have the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Aurelius Ambrosius (c. 340 – 4 April 397)
Ambrose was the Bishop of Milan and is one of the original Doctors of the Church. He was born into a Christian Roman family and according to legend while Ambrose was an infant a swam of bees landed on his face while he was in his cradle and they left a drop of honey, his father saw this as a sign of his future eloquence. After his father died Ambrose followed his footsteps and entered into the world of politics where Ambrose eventually became the Governor of Aemilia-Liguria in Northern Italy based in Milan which was the second capital of Italy. In 374 after the Bishop of Milan died the Arians wanted a new Bishop to be an Arian as well, instead of a Catholic. Ambrose when to prevent any arguments, and during his address people started shouting “Ambrose, bishop!” Ambrose first rejected this as he wasn’t baptized or had any theological training, but he eventually accepted. One of his first acts was to give all his lands and money to the poor, Ambrose felt that the poor were not a group of outsiders but a part of the human family, so giving to the poor was a repayment of resources that God had originally given to us all equally and that the rich had usurped. Ambrose was a big influence on Augustine and appears in Augustine’e Confessions.
Lucia of Syracuse (283–304)
Lucy is a recognizable saint as we hear her name during the Mass, she is one of the 8 female names mentioned during the Eucharist prayer. Many of us know St. Lucy as the girl with the wreath with candles upon her head. Not much is really known about Lucy, however according to the popular story she was born in a rich family and her father died when Lucy was five. Later on in life Lucy became a consecrated virgin and hoped to distribute her dowry to the poor. Her mother feared for Lucy’s future as her mother had a bleeding diasese and wanted Lucy to marry and had her betrothed. They both traveled to the Saint Agatha’s shrine and her mother was healed and Lucy could distribute her dowry to the poor. When Lucy’s betrothed heard about what Lucy was doing with the dowry he went to the Govenor and Lucy was sentenced to be burned. When they came to get Lucy they could not move her at all, even when they hitched a team of oxen to her. so they piled wood upon her and set it on fire, but it would not burn eventually they killed her with a sword. Her feast day is celebrated around the world with great pomp as Lucy is the light during the darkest day of year.
Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474–1548)
Juan Diego is best known in conjunction with Our Lady of Guadalupe. He is the first indigenous American saint. We know his tale, as even the dog Wishbone covered the miracle. Juan Diego was tending to his sick Uncle and on his way home he cross over a hill and Mary appeared to him, Juan Diego went to the Bishop to tell him of the vision and the Bishop didn’t believe him. So eventually Mary makes roses grow on the top of this hill and tells Juan to take them in him tilma to the Bishop, when Juan Diego makes it to the Bishop’s residence he drops the tilma and hope that the Bishop will believe him now he has brought Roses and they are not in season but on the inside of the tilma was an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Bishop believed finally. A shrine was erected and it has grown into one of the largest churches in the world.