Some thoughts about St Valentine’s Day
Well today is St Valentine’s Day and for many of us, it’s associated with roses, flowers, cards and other such gifts given in love. I wonder how many of us know the story behind the origins of Valentine’s Day.
Church tradition has it that in the third century which was a time when Christians were persecuted, there was a priest called Valentine. He lived in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius, who was committed to rebuilding the Roman army. Claudius believed that only single men would volunteer for service, so he issued a royal edict that banned all further marriages. Valentine ignored this edict and secretly continued performing marriage ceremonies – eventually he was caught and arrested.
There are a number of stories about things that happened while he was in prison. And one of these is that one day, he received a visit from the daughter of one of the prison guards who continued to visit him regularly. On the day Valentine was to die, he left her a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it, “Love from your Valentine.” That note started the custom of exchanging love notes on Valentine’s Day. It was written on the day he died, February 14, 269 A.D.—a day that was set aside in honor of a man who gave his life for God and for love.
Now, every year on this day, people remember Saint Valentine, but most importantly, they think about love. And what better way to start our journey through Lent, than by pondering the love of God at work in our lives and how we might respond to that love in prayer, word and action.
With every blessing