Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Catholic Defender: Happy Valentines Day!

Today is a great opportunity to show your spouse, those who are married, that you love them. Traditionally, we buy flowers, maybe a box of chocolates, and maybe even a teddy bear.

I remember at Mass, the Priest would offer married couples to renew their vows in a sacramental way. That is really awesome, I see that in a simular way like during the Easter Season, renewing our Baptismal vows. St. Valentines Day is a great way to show your love for your spouse.

In our Catholic tradition, the feast is an honor to a great Catholic Saint who died in 269 A.D. During the persecution of the Roman Emperor, Cladius II, St. Valentine served with his family, St. Marius, helping the martyrs.

As a Priest, St. Valentine served Our Lord and His holy Church in the face of the persecution. He would be captured by the Roman Army and interrigated. They attempted to get St. Valentines to renouce his Faith in Jesus Christ. St. Valentine was heroic as were many he served.

He was a great inspiration for the faithful as St. Peter had been in the face of trial. Because of the strength of St. Valentines faith, he was helping the flock of Christ.

Claudius had St. Valentine beheaded, just like St. Paul, his spiritual Father!

God is always showing his love even towards his enemies. The Lord healed the Jailer keeping watch on St. Valentine restoring his sight to him. Sounds a lot like St. Paul!!!

St. Valentine died on February 14, 269. Pope Julius built a church in his honor near Ponte Mole in the custom of the Church! His remains are kept at the church of St. Praxedes in Porta del Popolo.

It is interesting that the long held name had been Porta Valentini, a sign of the devotion of the people of God for this holy Saint. I remember some Protestant friends of mine were at a local resturant celebrating St. Valentines Day.

I couldn't help but think that if they really knew the Mass and the Church, they could appreciate St. Valentines! This is an example pointing to the promises of Christ in it's fulness, the promise of everlasting life.

As St. Nicholas is honored for the giving of all he had to those in need, St. Valentine is remembered for giving the highest gift of himself for his people. Jesus said, "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you" (John 15:13-14). St. Valentine, friend of Jesus, pray for us.

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