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December 7


Saint of the day:
Saint Ambrose

Patron Saint of Bee keepers, Beggars, Learning, & Milan

Saint Ambrose’s Story

One of Ambrose’s biographers observed that at the Last Judgment, people would still be divided between those who admired Ambrose and those who heartily disliked him. He emerges as the man of action who cut a furrow through the lives of his contemporaries. Even royal personages were numbered among those who were to suffer crushing divine punishments for standing in Ambrose’s way.

When the Empress Justina attempted to wrest two basilicas from Ambrose’s Catholics and give them to the Arians, he dared the eunuchs of the court to execute him. His own people rallied behind him in the face of imperial troops. In the midst of riots, he both spurred and calmed his people with bewitching new hymns set to exciting Eastern melodies.

In his disputes with the Emperor Auxentius, he coined the principle: “The emperor is in the Church, not above the Church.” He publicly admonished Emperor Theodosius for the massacre of 7,000 innocent people. The emperor did public penance for his crime. This was Ambrose, the fighter, sent to Milan as Roman governor and chosen while yet a catechumen to be the people’s bishop.

There is yet another side of Ambrose—one which influenced Augustine of Hippo, whom Ambrose converted. Ambrose was a passionate little man with a high forehead, a long melancholy face, and great eyes. We can picture him as a frail figure clasping the codex of sacred Scripture. This was the Ambrose of aristocratic heritage and learning.

Augustine found the oratory of Ambrose less soothing and entertaining but far more learned than that of other contemporaries. Ambrose’s sermons were often modeled on Cicero, and his ideas betrayed the influence of contemporary thinkers and philosophers. He had no scruples in borrowing at length from pagan authors. He gloried in the pulpit in his ability to parade his spoils—“gold of the Egyptians”—taken over from the pagan philosophers.

His sermons, his writings, and his personal life reveal him as an otherworldly man involved in the great issues of his day. Humanity, for Ambrose, was, above all, spirit. In order to think rightly of God and the human soul, the closest thing to God, no material reality at all was to be dwelt upon. He was an enthusiastic champion of consecrated virginity.

The influence of Ambrose on Augustine will always be open for discussion. The Confessionsreveal some manly, brusque encounters between Ambrose and Augustine, but there can be no doubt of Augustine’s profound esteem for the learned bishop.

Neither is there any doubt that St. Monica loved Ambrose as an angel of God who uprooted her son from his former ways and led him to his convictions about Christ. It was Ambrose, after all, who placed his hands on the shoulders of the naked Augustine as he descended into the baptismal fountain to put on Christ.








St Ambrose

(d. 397, Milan, Italy) (Relics: Milan, Italy)

Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio

(Basilica of Saint Ambrose)

Piazza Sant’Ambrogio 15

20123 Milano, Italy

*St Ambrose was the bishop of this city for over 20 years. It was during this time that St Augustine (d. 430) heard St Ambrose’s powerful preaching and became attracted to the Christian faith. Today the body of St Ambrose, dressed in white pontifical vestments, rests within an urn in the crypt of this church. Lying beside his remains are the bodies of two additional saints, the martyrs Gervasius and Protasius.


Churches of Honor in Rome


Sant'Ambrogio della Massima (Saint Ambrose)

Via S Ambrogio 3

Rome, Italy

*This church is located west of Piazza Venezia near the Fontana delle Tartarughe.  It is set behind some buildings and is not easy to notice from the street.  It is also not open often.

*Tradition holds that this church rests on land that was formerly the location of a house owned by St Ambrose’s father and occupied by his older sister.

*Relics of St Polycarp are set in a marble memorial stone under the main altar.

San Carlo al Corso (Saint Charles on the Corso)

Via del Corso 437

Rome, Italy

*This church is near the Spanish Steps.

*This church was formerly called Santi Ambrogio e Carlo al Corso and is therefore dedicated to both St Ambrose and St Charles Borromeo.

*The heart of St Charles Borromeo (d. 1584) rests in a reliquary within the altar located behind the sanctuary.



Songs of the season;

 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Andy Williams - It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Céline Dion - The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)

Wham! - Last Christmas





Italian Christmas Honey Cake or Calabrian Christmas Cakes
Pitta ‘mpigliata




  • 1 Pound Of Raisins

  • 1 Pound Coarsely Chopped Walnuts

  • 1/2 Cup Whiskey

  • 3/4 Cup Sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon

  • Juice Of 1 Orange


  • 4 to 5 Cups All-Purpose Flour 

  • 3/4 Cup White Wine

  • 3 Eggs

  • Zest From 1 Lemon And 1 Orange

  • 1 Cup Sugar

  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda

  • Toothpicks


  • 1 Cup Honey

  • Colored Sprinkles


For the filling, 

  1. combine all filling ingredients in a glass bowl, cover and let sit overnight, covered, stirring occasionally.

For the dough:

  1. make a mound of 4 cups of the flour on a pastry board or counter.

  2. Make a well in the center, and using a fork, begin to add in the remaining ingredients, mixing the dry ingredients with the wet ones by stirring with the fork until you have created a soft dough. (Add additional flour if the dough is still too sticky.)

  3. Knead by hand for 3 to 4 minutes with a little additional flour as needed until the dough is smooth, then divide into 8 equal sized balls.

  4. To make the cakes, covering the rest of the balls, take one and begin to run it through a pasta machine to flatten.

  5. Continue to lightly flour and pass through increasingly narrow openings, until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick. (I stop at number 3 to 4 on my roller attachment.)

  6. Place the dough strip on the counter, and using a scalloped pastry wheel, run it along the outside edges of each side of the dough.

  7. Next using the pastry wheel, cut the strip of dough in half lengthwise into two ribbons about 2 1/2 inches wide.

  8. On each half of the ribbon, sprinkle on some of the walnut, raisin mixture and fold to close.

  9. Starting at one end, begin to roll up the dough into a coil, using toothpicks to support it as needed.

  10. Continue until you have an 6 inch cake, and follow the same steps to use up all of the dough up in this manner. 

  11. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

  12. Place the cakes on a lightly floured baking sheet and bake for about 35 minutes or until lightly browned

  13. Melt the honey in a pot and brush each of the cakes lightly over the top.

  14. Bake an additional 5 minutes.

  15. Sprinkle with the candy sprinkles.

  16. Let cool completely

Fold and Roll




St. Ambrose Honey Cookies!
Like a Brandysnap



  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter

  • 2 TBSP light brown sugar

  • 1½ TBSP honey

  • 2 TBSP AP flour

  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375

  2. Line baking sheets with parchment or Silpat

  3. Melt butter, brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan

  4. Transfer to a bowl

  5. Whisk in flour and salt

  6. Drop ½ tsp of batter onto baking sheets leaving about 3" inches between as they spread a lot!

  7. Bake until golden brown, approximately 6 minutes

  8. Transfer Silpat or parchment to a wire rack to cool


More ideas for today!

Make a Cake!
St. Ambrose and the Bees Honeycomb Cake

Make a German Cake!
Bee sting Cake!



Drink of the Day:

The Bee's Knees!



Activity of the Day:

Write a Story!



Make Honey Soap!



  • 25 oz olive oil

  • 16 oz coconut oil

  • 18 oz tallow

  • 6 oz shea butter

  • 2 oz castor oil

  • 4 Tbsp raw honey

  • 25 oz water (remove 2 oz to mix with honey)

  • 9 oz lye

  • 1-1/2 to 2 oz essential oils of choice
    (citrus scents go well with honey, as well as cinnamon leaf)


  1. Combine olive oil, coconut oil, tallow, shea, and castor oil in large pot and

    heat until all is melted. Turn off the burner and cool to 100 degrees F.

  2. Combine 4 Tbsp raw honey and 2 ounces of water until combined.

  3. Add 9oz lye slowly to 23oz water (never water to lye) outside - even in the winter. Never combine in your house! Do not breathe fumes! Cool to 100 degrees F.

  4. Add lye water to oils and mix with a hand or stick mixer until it begins to thicken (on 5min. off 5 -10 min.).

  5. Add Raw Honey and essential oils and mix. Watch carefully. 

    It may go to trace quickly.

  6. Pour into mold and incubate for at least 24 hours.






Movie & Books:

Movie of the day

Learn the importance of Bees!

Books of the day

Read his Story and the importance of Bees!



Dance of the Day:

The Bee's Knees! (Charleston)

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