St. Valentine's Day

Anybody remember that this started with a martyr?

Women for Faith & Family does.

Cupids. Candy. Flowers. Lacy hearts. Strange, isn’t it, that the best known Christian saint on the secular calendar — a holiday devoted to romantic love — is a martyr for the Christian faith?

Saint Valentine did “die of love”, to be sure — but not of the romantic sort! Strange, also, considering its enormous popularity, that this saint’s feast no longer appears on the Church’s calendar. (Officially, February 14 marks the feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodias, 9th century missionaries to the Slavs.)

How did the “Saint” dissappear from Valentine’s Day? Can we “re-Christianize” the celebration of this popular holiday? Who is Saint Valentine, anyway?

There are at [least] three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, mentioned in the early martyrologies for the date of February 14th.

One is described as a priest in Rome, another a bishop (of Interamna, the modern Terni). Both apparently were martyred in the second half of the third century and buried at different places on the Flaminian Way outside of Rome. The third St. Valentine was martyred in Africa with a number of companions.

Almost nothing is known about any of these early Christian men — except that they died for the love of Christ!

Meanwhile, I’m seeing the usual spate of advertising that the best way to tell someone that you love them is with some particular product, gem, blossom, sweet, ecard or other intermediary.

How about telling them that you love them? It may not enhance the economy, but it sure enriches the spirit.


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