Ambrose (3)

Ambrose archbishop of Moscow, with his family name Andrew Sertis-Kamensky, was born at Nejine, in the government of Tchernigoff, in 1708, After studying at the seminary of St. Alexander Nevski, he became, in 1735, one of its teachers. In 1739 he entered a monastic order, and, according to custom, changed his Christian name, assuming that of Ambrose. After being for some time prefect of studies at the academy of St. Alexander, he was transferred as archimandrite to the convent of New Jerusalem at Vosnecensk, and, in 1758, was consecrated bishop, first of Pereiaslavl, and later, of the diocese of Krusitzy, near Moscow. He was appointed archbishop of Moscow in 1761, and retained his dignity until his death. He had also been from 1748 a member of the Holy Synod. Ambrose displayed great zeal in the service of his Church. He established a number of new churches and monasteries, and distinguished himself by his zeal for the benevolent institutions of Moscow. His death was very tragical. In 1771 the pestilence raged in Moscow with extraordinary fury, and carried off, it is reported, nearly one hundred thousand people. The people, attributing a miraculous healing power to a sacred image of the Virgin (called "the Iberian"), the whole population of the city crowded around the chapel where this image was preserved. Ambrose, who was sufficiently enlightened to see that the contagion in this way would spread more rapidly than before, had the miraculous image removed during the night. On the next day the populace, charging at once the archbishop with the removal, rushed toward his house. The archbishop had retired to a monastery outside of the city. The populace followed him, and broke open the gates of the monastery. The archbishop concealed himself in the sanctuary of the church, where only priests are allowed to enter; but they found him out, and dragged him to the gate of the temple. The archbishop begged them for enough time to receive once more the eucharist; this was granted to him. The populace remained silent spectators of the ceremony;

the archbishop was then dragged out of the church and strangled, Sept. 16. Ambrose published a large number of translations from the Church fathers, some sermons, and a liturgy. — Hoefer, Biog. Generale, 2, 341.

 
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