On the Duties of the Clergy cover

On the Duties of the Clergy

Saint Ambrose (337/340-397)

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1. Chapter 00
2. Chapter 01
3. Chapter 02
4. Chapter 03
5. Chapter 04
6. Chapter 05
7. Chapter 06
8. Chapter 07
9. Chapter 08
10. Chapter 09
11. Chapter 10
12. Chapter 11
13. Chapter 12
14. Chapter 13
15. Chapter 14
16. Chapter 15
17. Chapter 16
18. Chapter 17
19. Chapter 18
20. Chapter 19
21. Chapter 20
22. Chapter 21
23. Chapter 22
24. Chapter 23
25. Chapter 24
26. Chapter 25
27. Chapter 26
28. Chapter 27
29. Chapter 28
30. Chapter 29
31. Chapter 30
32. Chapter 31
33. Chapter 32
34. Chapter 33
35. Chapter 34
36. Chapter 35
37. Chapter 36
38. Chapter 37
39. Chapter 38
40. Chapter 39
41. Chapter 40
42. Chapter 41
43. Chapter 42
44. Chapter 43
45. Chapter 44
46. Chapter 45
47. Chapter 46
48. Chapter 47
49. Chapter 48
50. Chapter 49
51. Chapter 50
52. Chapter 01
53. Chapter 02
54. Chapter 03
55. Chapter 04
56. Chapter 05
57. Chapter 06
58. Chapter 07
59. Chapter 08
60. Chapter 09
61. Chapter 10
62. Chapter 11
63. Chapter 12
64. Chapter 13
65. Chapter 14
66. Chapter 15
67. Chapter 16
68. Chapter 17
69. Chapter 18
70. Chapter 19
71. Chapter 20
72. Chapter 21
73. Chapter 22
74. Chapter 23
75. Chapter 24
76. Chapter 25
77. Chapter 26
78. Chapter 27
79. Chapter 28
80. Chapter 29
81. Chapter 30
82. Chapter 01
83. Chapter 02
84. Chapter 03
85. Chapter 04
86. Chapter 05
87. Chapter 06
88. Chapter 07
89. Chapter 08
90. Chapter 09
91. Chapter 10
92. Chapter 11
93. Chapter 12
94. Chapter 13
95. Chapter 14
96. Chapter 15
97. Chapter 16
98. Chapter 17
99. Chapter 18
100. Chapter 19
101. Chapter 20
102. Chapter 21
103. Chapter 22

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Summary

Aurelius Ambrosius was a fourth century cleric who rose to become the Archbishop of Milan in 374 AD. His father was a powerful Roman general and the prefect of Gaul. His brother and sister were also consecrated as saints by the Catholic Church. As an infant, a swarm of bees settled over his face and flew away without harming the baby, but left behind a drop of honey and this was seen as a sign of his future eloquence and bees are often painted in his portraits as his symbols. Ambrosius (or Ambrose as he is referred to in English) was a highly learned man, well versed in Latin and Greek, theology and many other subjects. His great achievement was to establish the Catholic church in Milan and reduce the powerful Arian sect to secondary status in the state. He ranks with greats like Augustine and Jerome in his learning and devotion to the church. In fact, he was the priest who baptized Augustine. He was also a notable Biblical critic and initiated several innovative ideas that would help guide State-Church relations in medieval times. He was also a gifted orator and skilled musician, and many of his hymns are remembered even today. He was responsible for introducing a new style of “antiphonal” chanting in the Church. On the Duties of the Clergy was published in about 391 AD. It was written to motivate the clergy of his diocese so that they would conduct their lives in a manner appropriate to their vocation. With his immense background in the Classics, Ambrose modeled his treatise on Cicero's De Officiis. Hence, the Latin title of his work is De Officiis Ministorum. He begins by reiterating that what he is about to say has already been taught to his clergy, but he would like to refresh their memory and ensure that they have indeed imbibed the right lessons. One of the devices he uses to convey his teachings is by replacing the old Roman heroes with Old Testament saints. On The Duties... is divided into three main books. In the first book he describes duties which are “ordinary” and those which are “perfect.” Duties to parents, elders, and the cardinal virtues are discussed here. In the second book, he looks at the “expedient” aspects of life. The third book deals with “duties of perfection.” He exhorts the clergy to consider not only what is duty, or perfect or expedient, but to ascertain what is good for all. As an early piece of ecclesiastical writing, On the Duties of the Clergy makes interesting reading whether you're drawn to religious writings or not.