Random Musing on Valentine’s Day 2012
Valentine’s Day, was a Christian feast day, usually observed on February 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine. There are numerous early Christian martyrs who were named Valentine which includes Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 269. Valentine of Terni was bishop of Interamna about AD 197 and may have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian. The feast day was first established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was later deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI.
It is curious how a celebration of martyrdom became a celebration of romantic love. Many attribute it to Geoffrey Chaucer and his writings during the Middle Ages, when chivalry and romantic loves were ‘romanticised’. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending valentine greeting cards. The current trend now is “romantic” dinners in overpriced restaurants and expensive roses and other heart-shaped gifts. While my wife and I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day, we are happy that others do. However, we prefer our “romantic” dinners to be year round and my purchase of roses to be when the market price is reasonable.
I find fascinating it that my Bible reading today is on John 3:16 which is so appropriate for Valentine’s Day. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God’s love is not “romantic” love. It is a love that is based on unconditional commitment and action. It is a form of love that gives and benefits others. With so many marriages on the rocks and so many divorced people around, it is time to rethink the whole concept of “romantic” love. Love is much more than lust and sex, candlelight dinners and roses. It is about commitment and benefiting actions. The Gospel is God’s Valentine card to us, asking
“Will you be my Valentine?”
picture source: Wiki