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Feast of Saint Ambrose Event Celebrates 500-Year-Old Book


November 2014

A long look at an old book will highlight this year's celebration of the Feast of St. Ambrose on Dec. 7 at St. Ambrose University.

A university-owned edition of De officiis (On the Duties of the Clergy), written by Saint Ambrose of Milan, was published 500 years ago this December. The anniversary will be celebrated by the Academy for the Study of Saint Ambrose of Milan, beginning with a 4 p.m. lecture on Dec. 7 by Brian Berni, paleographer and a former archivist, researcher and Latin translator for the Vatican library.

The program will include a panel discussion of the copy of De officiis, which recently was presented to the Academy for the Study of Saint Ambrose of Milan (ASSAM) by an anonymous donor.

The day will begin with Feast of Saint Ambrose Mass at Christ the King Chapel beginning at 10:30 a.m. The Mass will conclude with the presentation of the annual McMullen Awards to two loyal Ambrosian couples, Joe and Joyce O'Rourke and John and Helen Morrissey. The McMullen Awards are one of the highest honors bestowed by the university and are given to nominees who epitomize the SAU mission in their actions. Read more about this year's honorees and see a list of past winners.

Berni holds a Bachelor of Arts in Modern History and Master of Arts in Medieval British Studies. He was trained at the Vatican Secret Archives beginning in 2008 and was employed as an archivist, researcher and translator for the Vatican library from 2010-2012.

Rev. Robert Grant, PhD, ASSAM director, said he initially contacted Berni for assistance in translating handwritten end notes within the manuscript. "It turns out the person who wrote those notes is a native of Venice, lived in the 16th Century and had a great interest in theological issues," Fr. Grant said. "The handwritten notes are particularly interesting because this is apogee of Christian Humanism, the age of Michelangelo, da Vinci, Erasmus and Martin Luther."

Much of the Dec. 7 discussion will focus on what the Venetian scholar found most interesting within the Saint Ambrose manuscript, and "what his notes reveal about how Ambrose was being used in this tumultuous period," Fr. Grant said.

Berni will moderate the discussion among a SAU panel that will include Fr. Grant; Corrine Winter, PhD, chair of the Master of Pastoral Theology program; Beth Shoemaker, DMA, the Library cataloger; Joseph Lappie, an assistant professor of art; and Ethan Gannaway, PhD, a visiting assistant professor of art history and ASSAM executive coordinator.

MORE LIKE THIS:Academy for Saint Ambrose, AmbroseZine, Campus Ministry, Institutional-Campus

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