Thursday, 5 February 2015

Francesco Braschi: Ambrose of Milan "reloaded": the Homilies by Cardinal Federico Borromeo (1564-1631) about his Blessed Predecessor. Intended to be part of the workshop: "The reception of Ambrose: Reconsidering the Archbishop of Milan in Context"

During his Episcopacy (1595-1631) in Milan, not in a single occasion Cardinal Federico Borromeo showed deep respect toward St. Ambrose, whom he regarded to not only as a Patron and most illustrious antecessor of his, but also as an example in order to discover the most urgent cultural and pastoral needs of the Milanese people.
Every year, on December 7th, Federico celebrated Ambrose's feast by preaching a homily devoted to enlighten one or more aspect(s) of his life, deeds and personality, according to the situation of the Church and the people, marked both by famine and plague and by the situation of religious struggle due to the consequences of Protestant and Catholic Reformation.
The paper aims at showing both contents (especially with regard to the usage of Ambrosian works and related sources by Federico) and method of the representation of St. Ambrose proposed by Federico during 36 years of episcopacy, thus perpetuating the memory of the Saint as well as showing him as a reliable source of inspiration in order to overcome the present difficulties in politics, economy, social and religious life. St. Ambrose, indeed, did (and does!) keep on playing an actual and meaningful role in the self-representation and activity of the Catholic Church in Milano.
Special attention will be drawn upon the Homily delivered on December 7th, 1609, the day before the opening of a Library to be named after St. Ambrose (Ambrosiana Library), which describes the "Ambrosian Spirit" by means of a comparison between Ambrose and Augustine.

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