Ambrose (b. Treves, Germany, 340; d. Milan, Italy, 397), one of the great Latin church fathers, is remembered best for his preaching, his struggle against the Arian heresy, and his introduction of metrical and antiphonal singing into the Western church. Ambrose was trained in legal studies and distinguished himself in a civic career, becoming a consul in Northern Italy. When the bishop of Milan, an Arian, died in 374, the people demanded that Ambrose, who was not ordained or even baptized, become the bishop. He was promptly baptized and ordained, and he remained bishop of Milan until his death. Ambrose successfully resisted the Arian heresy and the attempts of the Roman emperors to dominate the church. His most famous convert and disciple w… Go to person page >
Translator: Richard Mant
Mant, Richard D.D., son of the Rev. Richard Mant, Master of the Grammar School, Southampton, was born at Southampton, Feb. 12, 1776. He was educated at Winchester and Trinity, Oxford (B.A. 1797, M.A., 1799). At Oxford he won the Chancellor's prize for an English essay: was a Fellow of Oriel, and for some time College Tutor. On taking Holy Orders he was successively curate to his father, then of one or two other places, Vicar of Coggeshall, Essex, 1810; Domestic Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 1813, Rector of St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, London. 1816, and East Horsley, 1818, Bishop of Killaloe, 1820, of Down and Connor, 1823, and of Dromore, 1842. He was also Bampton Lecturer in 1811. He died Nov. 2, 1848. His prose works were numerou… Go to person page >
Aeterna Christi munera, Apostolorum gloriam. This form of the hymn [Aeterna Christi munera, Et martyrum victorias] is an adaptation for "Apostles" as distinct from “Martyrs." It is in numerous Breviaries, including the Roman, York, Sarum and others. The same text, however, is not strictly maintained. The lines of the original which are thus variously altered are 1-8 and 21-28, followed by a doxology not in the original and varying in the respective Breviaries in which the hymn is given.
Translations in common use:—
4. Lord, Who didst bless Thy chosen band. Mant, 1837.
--Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)