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This week's very practical saints

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Dec 07, 2012

Early Advent is a great time for taking practical steps to put your spiritual life in order, and appropriately enough, this week we celebrate the feasts of two saints who showed a marvelous grasp of practicalities.

St. Nicholas is a popular favorite as the real man behind the Santa Claus story. He’s also a particular favorite of mine (our eldest son bears his name) because at Nicea, confronting Arius, he demonstrated how a muscular Christian handles the problem of heresy.

Then today St. Ambrose, the patron saint of beekeepers. The story is that his father found a swarm of bees buzzing around baby Ambrose's mouth. The child was reportedly undisturbed. That, too, was very practical behavior. Honey bees are never so docile as when they are swarming.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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