Sunday, January 24, 2016

St. Valentine's Day

Ever wonder why we call February 14th Valentine's day?  I never knew the reason until just the last 10 years or so.  I just thought it was like other holidays, got it's name somewhere in the distant past.  I never thought about why it was named Valentine's Day!

There were actually three Valentine's in the Catholic Church in the third and fourth century.  It is widely held that St. Valentine was a priest that lived in the Roman Empire during the reign of the Emperor Claudius II in the third century A.D.  During that time, it was illegal in the Roman Empire for couples to marry in the Church.

St. Valentine's married couples in secret, without the permission of the Emperor of Rome.  For this he was jailed.  While he was in jailed, it is said, he found favor with the Emperor, and attempted to convert him to Christianity.  This angered the Emperor and he ordered Valentine condemned to death.  He was executed outside the Flaminian Gate in Rome on February 14th, 269 A.D.

His feast day was first established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 A.D.

It wasn't until Chaucer wrote "Parliament of Foules" in 1381 that St. Valentine was associated with a day for lovers.

Since then, it has evolved into a day that celebrates love.

May you have a St. Valentine's Day full of love, and remembrance for a saintly priest who gave his life for the Christian faith.

Until next time.

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