There are several legends surrounding who Saint Valentine was. Most agree on a few salient facts:
He was a priest.
He was arrested under the rule of Emperor Claudius II around the year 270 AD (CE).
He defied Claudius edict that banned engagement and marriages in Rome.
He was martyred On February 14, beaten to death and beheaded.
One of the legends state that he befriended the daughter of one of the jailers and on the day of his execution he left her a loving note and signed it: “From Your Valentine.”
Many people (myself included) have decried Valentines Day as just another Hallmark Holiday to make some money. However, while it is not a part of the Christian calendar it holds enough spiritual and religious significance as not to so easily dismiss it. To make it simply about marriages or couples is to lessen the lessons we can learn. So hare are some things, including the love between couples and found in marriages, that we can learn from Saint Valentine and celebrate during Valentines Day:
We celebrate those who gave their lives as martyrs of the faith.
We celebrate those people who serve God’s higher authority over man’s governmental authority.
We celebrate sacrificial love and giving.
We celebrate bravery in the face of persecution.
We celebrate friendship
We celebrate resurrection.
We celebrate the spiritual which conquers the material.
We celebrate people who live out of their convictions.
We celebrate God’s Kingdom invading man’s domain, recognizing, indeed, this is My Father’s World.
We celebrate peace and non-violence over power and violence.
We celebrate a Pro Life attitude for all, from the womb to the tomb.
We celebrate those falsely accused and wrongly imprisoned.
We celebrate love.
Unfortunately, this chapter in the bible is often relegated to public reading during wedding ceremonies. But Paul did not write this for marriages, although applies to all
1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
What do you think?
How does it make you feel?