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St. Ambrose Catholic Church - Houston,Texas
Just as a building has doors, so too our mind and hearts have 'doors' as well. Open yours as you step within these doors to explore the wonders within.
Many sacred images are present in St Ambrose Catholic Church.
This image of St Ambrose is the name sake of St Ambrose Catholic Church.
"He was a bishop of Milan (339-97). In 370 he became Governor of Aemilia and Liguria, at Milan. On the death of its Arian bishop Auxentius, Ambrose applealed for peace at the assembly convoked to elect his successor. During his speach a voice, often said that of a child cried out 'Ambrose for bishop.' To his astonishment (as he was not even baptized) the whole crowd took up the slogan. Within a week he was baptized and consecrated bishop in spite of his pleas of his unsuitability. He incouraged monasticism, recommending the Virgin Mary as the patron and model for nuns; he also had an important share in the conversion of Augustine in 386.
In England there are images of him as one of the four Latin Doctors (with Augustine, Jerome,and Gregory).
He is often represented in episcopal vestments with the emblem of a scourge, symbolizing the penance he imposed on the emperor, or else with a beehive because a swarm of bees, symbolizing his future eloquence, settled on him when he was a child.
Ambrose died before he was sixty. His body was translated under the high alter of his basilica in 835."
from 'The Oxford Dictionary of Saints' by David Hugh Farmer
History of St. Ambrose from new advent.org
As you enter the nave of the Church the first thing that catches your heart is the cross of our Lord under the beautiful stained glass circle
All Catholic Churches have an 'assent' or steps leading up to the altar. This is suggestive of so many elements in sacred history as well as the call to us all to 'ascend' toward heaven by seeking to live holy lives.
As we look upon the cross of Our Lord and see above Him the fire of The Holy Spirit
To the left of the nave is this beautiful stained galss of our Lord.
As you can see, along the wall there are wonderful images of saints whose lives we should meditate on
To the right of the nave is another of the beauties of St Ambrose: the stained glass window of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
This beautiful inviting image of our Lady is there to greet you as you enter St. Ambrose. The golden crown is a symbol of Mary crowned Oueen of Heaven and earth.
Mary and The Bible
The red candle holder reminds visitors that our Lord is truly present in the consecrated host(s) in the Tabernacle.
Christ commanded His Apostles to repeat His sacred action at the Last Supper (Mt. 26:26). St. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5:7 that Jesus is "the paschal lamb who has been sacrificed." St. Paul also made it clear in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29 that this was not a mere symbol. Imagine - what would you do if you meet the Lord of all Creation? How would you respond if God suddenly appeared before you? Perhaps you'd kneel, or bow profoundly. This is the reason why for centuries Catholics have knelt or genuflected before a Tabernacle, when the Blessed Sacrament is made available for Eucharistic Adoration or before receiving Holy Communion.
The Bible and the Lord's Supper
St Ambrose's beautiful Baptismal Font
"Holy Baptism holds the first place among the sacraments, because it is the door of the spiritual life; for by it we are made members of Christ and incorporated with the Church. And since through the first man death entered into all, unless we be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, we can not enter into the kingdom of Heaven, as Truth Himself has told us.
In Baptism we are plunged into the mystery of Christ's death and resurrection, and our baptismal commitment includes a willingness to give our life for others as Jesus did. Two important liturgical functions center at the font, the baptismal rite itself, and the blessing of the font. The earliest allusion to such a blessing is by Tertullian who refers to the sanctification of the water by the invocation of God (De bapt., iv). St. Cyprian speaks of its being purified and sanctified by the priest (Ep. lxx, Ad Jan.); St. Basil considered the blessing, already of long-standing practice in his day, as of Apostolic institution (De Spiritu Sancto, xxvii); St. Ambrose first refers to an extended ritual including blessings. "
from New Advent.org
Icons representing the 14 Stations of the Cross surround the nave. These are a work of art in their simplicity and beauty.
’the Stations of the Cross…Christ’s Passion and Death…the price of our salvation!’
As we look upon these works of art our hearts and minds should be drawn to God in prayer,
who in His mercy gave us His Son in LOVE, who suffered and died on the cross for all our sins.
What a wonderful house of God.
Let us take a few steps closer towards the beautiful images in St. Ambrose...
Breath taking - Our Lady and The Infant Jesus
Mary and The Bible
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton January 4
Patron of Catholic Education. First American born Saint. Daughter of Charity of St. Joseph.
St. Jude Thaddeus October 28
One of Twelve Apostles. Patron of Desperate Causes
St. Anne July 26
Patron of Christian Mothers. Mother of Virgin Mary.
St. Joseph March 19
Patron of Fathers of Families and Carpenters. Husband of Blessed Virgin Mary.
St. Maria Gorette 1890 -1902
Patron of Youth. Died a Virgin and Martyr for Purity.
St. Dominic Savio March 9
Patron of Youth. Born in Italy and a student of St. Johm Bosco.
St. John Vianney September 4
1786 - 1859
Patron of Priest. Spiritual Director and Confessor.
St. Frances of Assisi October 4
Patron of Conservation and Ecology. Founded The Franciscan Order.
In any of these photos, or in your next visit to a church - stop, look and listen. Ponder the Cross. Pray to hear what the Lord might be saying to you through a Station of the Cross, a picture or statue of His blessed Mother, an angel or saint. What do you see in their eyes? Do you see a look of humility? Are their feet bare or in sandals? Every statue or photo can have an amazing richness of messages. This is why, for centuries, the Church used sacred art to teach the people - especially before reading became common. Today, when the graphic arts have become powerful means of influencing people, isn't it fitting that we look to spiritual art to inspire us to lead lives pleasing to God?
Thank you for taking our tour of St Ambrose Catholic Church. Please visit this page again soon to see more photos and more information about this parish, .
Why not visit this holy place in person? Plan to spend a some time before and after Mass. You'll be moved in ways that may surprise and inspire you. .
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