The Feast Of St. Ambrose

Observed mainly in Milan, a city located in Italy’s northern Lombardy region, the Feast of St. Ambrose celebrates the patron saint of the city, Saint Ambrose. During the 4th century, Saint Ambrose was an archbishop of Milan, and he would go on to become a significant ecclesiastical figure of his time.

Because this day is a public holiday in Milan, it’s a day off for many people, and most businesses and schools are closed. This is convenient, considering that many people will attend family gatherings and/or religious events during the day.

The History of the Feast of St. Ambrose

Saint Ambrose was a statesman and theologian who served as the Bishop of Milan from 374 to 397. He was a staunch promoter of the Latin Church and stood against practices that he felt weakened it, such as paganism.

When he died, he was buried in the crypt of the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio in the center of Milan. Ambrose of Milan would be venerated as Saint Ambrose. His feast day was established shortly thereafter.

Some Interesting Facts About Milan

Since Saint Ambrose is the patron saint of Milan, and this feast day is extensively celebrated in the city, we thought we’d do a deep dive into its culture and history. So, without further ado, we’d like to introduce to everyone some facts about Milan that we found to be quite interesting.

  • Milan was founded in 600 BC by the Celts. Its original name was Mediolanum.
  • It has a population of approximately 1.4 million people, making it the second-largest city in Italy. Only Rome is bigger.
  • Milan Cathedral is the third-largest Catholic church in all of Europe.
  • Milan Cathedral was built over a period of 500 years.
  • The first skyscraper built in Italy was the Pirelli Tower, with a height of 417 feet.
  • Approximately 20% of Milan’s population is composed of foreign residents.
  • After Rome, Milan is the second most visited city in Italy.

Observing the Feast of St. Ambrose

On this day, there are not only religious events dedicated to Saint Ambrose, but there are also street market fairs that allow the citizens of Milan (as well as tourists) to do some early shopping for Christmas.

Some people also take advantage of the fact that the Milan La Scala Opera begins its season on this day. People can spread the word about this day using the hashtag #FeastOfSaintAmbrose on social media.

Where is it celebrated?
Italy (Local holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
December 7 Saturday
Next year (2025)
December 7 Sunday
Last year (2023)
December 7 Thursday