St. Ambrose's unique relationship with bees makes him a keen intercessor for candle makers and all candle aficionados.
Candles are seen everywhere during the dark and cold winter months. They are a top gift during the Christmas season and even the Church encourages the Christian faithful to use candles during Advent. With all those candles, shouldn’t there be a patron saint of candlemakers?
Of course there is, and St. Ambrose is his name.
Born in the 4th century, Ambrose is most well-known for being instrumental in the life of St. Augustine and is regarded as one of the original Doctors of the Church. The reason why he is connected to candle-makers is a miraculous episode that occurred early on in his life.
According to an ancient story, when Ambrose was a baby a swarm of bees surrounded him. Instead of stinging him, the bees left drops of honey in his mouth. Some believed this pointed to the future eloquence of his preaching.
Ambrose was later known as the “Honey-Tongued Doctor” for his divine gift of preaching and has been regarded as the patron saint of anything bee related, such as candles.
Here is a short prayer to St. Ambrose, invoking his intercession for any circumstance.
O God, you give blessed Ambrose to your people as a minister of eternal salvation; grant, we pray you, that as on earth he was a teacher of supernatural life, so we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in heaven. Amen.
Why do Catholics use candles at Mass?