Love is in the air, or is it consumerism? The stores are teeming with sweethearts purchasing roses, cards and chocolates. The economy will see a temporary boost in the service industry with all the date night reservations at fine eateries, and movie ticket sales will spike on this day for the latest romantic release. These are all good things, but lacking one critical point of reference -- this is a Christian Feast Day! Unfortunately, the culture has essentially lost the true meaning of the Feast of St. Valentine.
A priest and martyr for the Faith in the 3rd century, Valentine was said to have composed notes of love from his jail cell while he awaited execution. So great was his faith, that he thought first to love others in imitation of Christ.
It is a wonderful gesture to buy roses, cards and chocolates for the ones you love, even take them out to dinner. But, always remember the spirit of the saint who inspired this tradition and feast day. Do these things like Valentine did, trusting in the grace of God, even to his death. Ask for his intercession to maintain a strong relationship and to grow in love.
St. Valentine lived the scripture verse, "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." (Jn 15:13) His friend, of course, was the Lord, Jesus. Thus, it is for love of the Lord that we share our affection for others. Happy St. Valentine's Day!
Prayer to St. Valentine
O glorious advocate and protector,
look with pity upon our wants,
hear our requests,
attend to our prayers,
relieve by your intercession the miseries
under which we labour,
and obtain for us the divine blessing,
that we may be found worthy to join you
in praising the Almighty for all
eternity: through the merits of
Our Lord Jesus Christ.