Here it is again! The happy, joyous celebration of Valentine’s Day. Most of us don’t really stop much to think about it, except that we tend to think about it as a great promotional scheme developed by the candy and card makers. Actually, like so many aspects of the early church, it flows out of a really delightful story. St. Valentine was a very committed member of the church in the fourth century, but his timing was bad. He was caught for practicing his faith in one of the very last of the persecutions.
His crime? St. Valentine was arrested for fostering Christian couples to build solid communities of faith. He witnessed many of their marriages. We don’t know a great many details of his life, but supposedly while he was incarcerated, he healed his jailer’s daughter from her blindness, and before St. Valentine was executed, he sent that girl a note and signed it “from your Valentine”. Gradually his name became associated with romantic love, and he is the patron saint of young couples contemplating marriage (and bee keepers- why? I don’t know-maybe it’s the honey?)
Happy St. Valentine’s Day!