Thursday, February 14, 2013


Saint Valentine's Day - Valentine's Day - the Feast of Saint Valentine - celebrated on February 14th each year is an international day of celebration - although a working day for most. There is some confusion as to the origination of Saint Valentine - there appear to be many men who were named Valentine and numerous stories about them. One of the most popular is that Valentinus was a holy priest in Rome who along with Saint Marius assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was captured - beaten with clubs and beheaded on February 14th, 270. Pope Julius I was reported to have built a church near Ponte Mole in his memory. Other Valentines existed - also associated with healing and helping people in various stages of need.  Whomever he was - he did really exist - archaeologists unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine. In 496 AD Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom. Although no longer listed in the official Roman Catholic calendar of Saints - he is still officially observed by the Angelican Communion, the Lutheran Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. Valentine's Day did not become a secular observance connected with romantic love until its recorded association in Parlement of Foules (1382) written by Geoffrey Chaucer. The poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia - at the time of their marriage both were only 15 years old. From that grew the concept of young love and its connection to February 14th - a tradition which continues today - not limited by religious restrictions - but available to all those who love.
God tells us in Holy Scripture how much He loves us. Many have proclaimed that the Bible is the longest love letter ever written - a guideline how to live our lives - how to love other people - how to bring God's love into this world by living the Gospel message of Jesus. Today we celebrate the concept - the reality - the existance of love - today we share that love with all we know - today we share the Christ in our heart - with the world.

Deacon Dale