The most significant focus and interest tends to be St Valentine’s Day. Although it has become lost in time in terms of its origins, it is recognised as a significant cultural, religious and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love.
St Valentine did exist. He was a Priest in Rome in the third century AD. There is some evidence that shows more than one Priest was tortured and executed around this time for advocating Christian marriage and became martyred for their faith. Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he thought married men were poor soldiers. St Valentine was beaten with clubs and beheaded on February 14 AD 270. He would not renounce his faith or compromise that he believed in.
During Medieval times a common belief in England and France was that birds began to pair on 14 February as Chaucer wrote in his “Parliament of Fowles”. For this reason the day was dedicated to “lovers”.
Although thought to be a secular day, there is a Christian message that should be remembered. The love of our Lord is a sacrificial, selfless and unconditional love. We are all called to express this in our own lives, for God and for neighbour. Quite often this can be a challenge, especially for those who have loved and lost, have been disappointed or continue to search for something they don’t understand. Love can be a hard option.
On this Valentine’s Day 2019 dedicate your love to the Lord, for only by doing so can we properly love those who are entrusted to his care. Jesus said “this is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15: 12-13. St Valentine fulfilled this command, and may we do the same, by understanding love comes in many forms, love is the foundation of relationships and family life, love is something many search for and never find, love can be lost but never forgotten. Love makes the world go round, but nothing can be greater than the love God has for all who come to him with a willing heart, an open mind, and a call that is special, cherished and valued. Share your love daily. A kind word, a prayer, a note or a Valentine’s card. At no point is your love ever wasted.