From our Synod's website and the Treasury:
Born in Trier in A.D. 340, Ambrose was one of the four great Latin Doctors of the Church (with Augustine, Jerome, and Gregory the Great). He was a prolific author of hymns, the most common of which is Veni, Redemptor gentium (“Savior of the Nations, Come”). His name is also associated with Ambrosian Chant, the style of chanting the ancient liturgy that took hold in the province of Milan. While serving as a civil governor, Ambrose sought to bring peace among Christians in Milan who were divided into quarreling factions. When a new bishop was to be elected in 374, Ambrose addressed the crowd, and someone cried out, “Ambrose, bishop!” The entire gathering gave their support. This acclaim of Ambrose, a 34-year-old catechumen, led to his baptism on December 7, after which he was consecrated bishop of Milan. A strong defender of the faith, Ambrose convinced the Roman emperor Gratian in 379 to forbid the Arian heresy in the West. At Ambrose's urging, Gratian's successor, Theodosius, also publicly opposed Arianism. Ambrose died on Good Friday, April 4, 397. As a courageous doctor and musician he upheld the truth of God's Word.
The prayer for the day:
O God, You gave Your servant Ambrose grace to proclaim the Gospel with eloquence and power. As bishop of the great congregation of Milan, he fearlessly bore reproach for the honor of Your name. Mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellence in preaching and fidelity in ministering Your Word that Your people shall be partakers of the divine nature; through Jesus Christ... (Treasury, p. 992)
I still remember with great joy the class in St. Ambrose's writings which I took at seminary, taught by Professor Wesselschmidt. Spending the quarter with this remarkable Father was truly an eye-opener. And speaking of eyes, Prof. Wesselschmidt commented on how if you view the body to this day in the crypt beneath the cathedral in Milan, you can notice (as in the mosaic at the top of this post) that one of his eyes is lower in his head than the other. And he was a SHORT fellow, yet big in character.
One thinks of Ambrose and one thinks of worship and liturgy. His works on the Sacraments are tremendous. Also, the Lutheran liturgiologist recalls that in many 16th-17th century works, the Te Deum is titled the Symbol of Sts. Ambrose and Augustine, based on the medieval legend that it was composed upon the latter's baptism by the former.
Our hymnal has three hymns from St. Ambrose. My favorite is "Savior of the Nations" but a close second is this evening hymn:
O blessed Light, O Trinity,
O everlasting Unity:
As now the fiery sun departs
Send forth Your light into our hearts.
To You our morning song of praise,
To You our evening prayer we raise;
We praise Your light in every age,
The joy of our pilgrimage.
All glory be to God above
And to the Son, the Prince of love,
And to the Spirit, One in Three!
We praise You, blessed Trinity.