The model of the sage in St. Ambrose’s letters


St. Ambrose’s letters are a unique example of bishop’s concern for pastoral, social and political issues relating to the city, the diocese, the Empire and the Church. They have been a special way of his pastoral influence and work. He in­cluded in them a number of moral, legal and dogmatic instructions, among which he described a model of the Christian sage. It was based on the statements of the Stoic philosophy, but finally the Christian character arising from Scripture, and es­pecially from the teaching of St. Paul the Apostle, was added to Ambrose’s model of a sage. According to Ambrose, the basic feature of the sage is freedom, but it also provides a number of other features – such as submission to God, love for the neighbours, the spirit of repentance, knowledge of God’s Law – which constitute the perfect sage, and ultimately – the perfect Christian.


St. Ambrose of Milan; sage; wisdom; stoicism; letters; freedom; wealth; penance; epistolography

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Published : 2015-12-15

Wysocki, M. (2015). The model of the sage in St. Ambrose’s letters. Vox Patrum, 64, 581-594.

Marcin Wysocki 
Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II  Poland

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