St. Ambrose - The Honey Tongued Doctor

Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History

From the Easter Series

St. Ambrose was born in Gaul in 340. There is a legend that as an infant, a swarm of bees settled on his face while he lay in his cradle, leaving behind a drop of honey. His father considered this a sign of his future eloquence and honeyed tongue. For this reason, bees and beehives often appear in the saint’s symbology.

The word for 'food of the gods' in Latin is ambrosia. Some scholars have speculated that ambrosia refers to honey or a honey-derived drink, such as mead (honey-wine). The title "Honey Tongued Doctor," initially bestowed because of his speaking and preaching ability, led to the use of a beehive and bees in his iconography, symbols which also indicate wisdom. This led to his association with bees, beekeepers, chandlers, wax refiners, etc.

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