We have had a fun full week of Valentine crafts, chocolate strawberries, and looking at the real life of a man named Valentine.
There are a variety of stories about the real St. Valentine but Father Frank O’Gara from Dublin, Ireland shares this account from history.
“He was a Roman Priest at a time when there was an emperor called Claudias who persecuted the church at that particular time,” Father O’Gara explains. ” He also had an edict that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to them or their wives or families if they died.”
Valentine secretly married the young soldiers despite the edict. He believed that all men and women should have the chance to marry if it was their desire.
He was eventually captured, imprisoned, and persecuted by the cruel Emperor Claudius II. During his time in prison it is said that he used the power of God to heal the guard’s blind daughter and as a result the guard’s family became Christians.
The emperor asked Valentine to renounce his decision to marry couples in which he refused even though it meant that his sentence was death.
In the year 269 AD, Valentine was executed. It is said, that his final note was to the young blind girl that was healed and he signed it, “from your Valentine.”
Father O’Hara went on to write,
“If Valentine were here today, he would say to married couples that there comes a time where you’re going to have to suffer. It’s not going to be easy to maintain your commitment and your vows in marriage. Don’t be surprised if the ‘gushing’ love that you have for someone changes to something less “gushing” but maybe much more mature…”
“So on the day of the marriage they have to take that into context,” Father O’Gara says. “Love—human love.. is wonderful, and blessed by God—but also the shadow of the cross. That’s what Valentine means to me.” (from cbn.com)
And so in honor of St. Valentine we may think of our tradition a little different this year as we write our “Valentine’s.” We have a tradition in our family that our kids decorate and hang a large white envelope from the back of their chairs around the dining table and we write Valentine’s to each other and fill the envelopes. ❤️
Happy Valentine’s to each of YOU!!