St. Valentine's Day

 

    Every February, across the world, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine.  But who is this saint and why do we celebrate this holiday?

        Saint Valentine was a Roman martyr-priest who died in 270 AD.  The celebration of Saint Valentine's Day,  Feb. 14, originally the Roman feast of Lupercalia, was Christianized in memory of the martyr St. Valentine. 

These are the legends which quite possible tell the full story of St. Valentine:

        One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

        Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape the harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured. 

        Another legend tells that Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself.  While in prison, the jailor's blind daughter came to greet him during his confinement. As she visited him, he would tell her stories from the Bible.  Valentine would tell her of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who came to die for her sins.  He told her stories of Jesus' life here on earth, and all that Jesus Christ had done.  Valentine told her how Jesus healed sick, had the lame walk, and gave sight to the blind, and much more.  Valentine also mentioned that Jesus rose from the dead, so He is still alive to do all and even more than He had done in the past. 

        As the girl spent time hearing of God from Valentine and sensing his immense dependence, trust and love for Jesus Christ, she be began to ask questions.  Soon she came daily, eager to hear of the gospel.  On the day before Valentine was to be executed, the blind daughter of the jailer came to him and asked him if Jesus Christ could heal her so she could see.  In faith, Valentine said "Yes."  The two of them prayed in Valentine's jail cell for Jesus Christ to heal her.  Immediately after, the girl asked, "What is that coming through the window?"  She could see!  She saw light for the first time!!  The next day, when she came to see Valentine, she found a letter written for her of God's Love for her that would never end. 

       Isn't it just right that the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ sheds light into each of our souls!! Isn't His Light so very evident when we give ourselves to Him in faith!! And can't we just help but to proclaim Him for the freedom of the captives, which we ourselves once were?

     May you have a blessed St. Valentine's Day!  May God Who Is Love shine His blessings upon you as you call out to Him for release from your troubles and afflictions!!  And may we all be as Valentine is described above, trusting in our Lord, shining His Word, and resting in His Peace!!

        May the light of the Gospel shine in our hearts first so that we can see Him clearly, for Him to then remove the darkness in our lives.

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