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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.

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