Today a lot of us celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s a day that is customarily known for symbolism and display of love.
We celebrate it by giving those whom we love flowers, jewelry, cards, chocolates, and other gifts of affection.
But, we don’t hear a lot about St. Valentine himself any more.
Traditional Valentine Legend
The Emperor was having a hard time building a strong army because so many Roman men just wanted to stay home with their sweeties, so Claudius II outlawed marriage.
Valentine, a Catholic priest, felt that the Emperor was being unfair and defied the orders by performing Christian marriage ceremonies.
When Claudius found out what Valentine was up to, he had him arrested and brought to trial. He was sentenced to death by decapitation.
“Legend also has it that while in jail, St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it ‘From Your Valentine.'” – History.com
“In truth, the exact origins and identity of St. Valentine are unclear. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, ‘At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of 14 February.’ – History.com
- One was a priest in Rome
- One was a bishop of Interamna (now Terni, Italy)
- One was a martyr in the Roman province of Africa – nothing is known about this saint.
While you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, remember some important scriptures about love.
- “There is no greater love than giving your life for your friends” – John 15:13
- “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. –Luke 6:27-36
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. . . – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
- There is no fear in love – 1 John 4:18
And the most important one of all.
As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, let us remember that you loved us so much that you gave your son to us so that he would be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. We love you Father with our whole hearts, minds and souls.
Help us to remember your love for us during hard times. Help us to be wonderful witnesses to the world by even loving our enemies. We know that this is not in our nature, so we rely upon your Holy Spirit to show us how to do this.
Thank you for your Son and for your love. Thank you for giving us people to love us, and for us to love.
In Jesus’ name we pray,