Hey Everyone! Happy St. Valentines Day! It's been almost a whole month since I've written on the blog. As you may already know, I am Catholic and Lent started yesterday. Although I haven't been blogging much lately, I'd really like to blog regularly for the next 40 days about the saints.
If you are not Catholic, you may not know what a saint is. A saint in the Catholic church is, "a person officially recognized, especially by canonization, as being entitled to public veneration and capable of interceding (praying) for people on earth." A saint is also defined as, "a person who has died and gone to heaven" (http://tiny.cc/eybisw).
Anyways, for the next 40 days, I would really like to get to know more about the saints as my Lenten practice. I've asked some friends to guest post and share about their favorite saint and am doing a little saint series here until Easter. For those non-Catholic Christians, this might just be interesting for you to read about people who lived courage lives putting God first in everything. I promise the blog will not be a "all about saints" blog forever, just for the next 40 days and then it will return to it's regularly scheduled programs. Haha. Anyways, Valentines Day and St. Patrick's Day are based off of saints.
For those who are concerned that Catholics "worship" saints, that is certainly NOT true. If you are interested in this being explained further to understand why saints are so important to Catholics, you can read here.
Today, I thought I'd share a little bit about St. Valentine. Every year on February 14, we celebrate Valentines day and yet, many of us know absolutely nothing about St. Valentine. I would consider myself to be in this "know nothing about St. Valentine" category until today.
Who was St. Valentine?
So the truth is, there is not a lot known about St. Valentine. Valentine was a priest in the Catholic church in Rome, who assisted the martyrs in persecution under Claudius II. (A martyr is someone who died for their faith.) It is believed that Valentine was executed on February 14 around the year 270.
There are a few legends of St. Valentine which help explain why Valentine's Day is all about love! St. Valentine is the patron (protector) of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, people suffering from plague, travellers, and young people.
According to the History Channel website, Claudius wanted to maintain a strong army and struggled to get new soldiers. He believed that Roman men were "unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families." So Emperor Claudius made it illegal to get married or engaged in Rome.Valentine was caught marrying Christian couples and helping Christians who were being persecuted under Emperor Claudius II in Rome. St. Valentine was soon imprisoned and it is believed that the emperor became fond of him in the beginning of his imprisonment. Then Valentine tried to convert the emperor to Christianity and was then sentenced to death.
Another story says that while in jail, Valentine healed the jailers daughter who was blind. And finally, Valentine is believed to have written a farewell note to the jailer's daughter on the night before his death. In the note he signed, "From your Valentine." More information can be found on St. Valentine here.
My thoughts? I think it is neat that we celebrate love on Valentine's Day. For all you singles out there, you can celebrate a love of family and the freedom to marry when love comes along. After all, that is exactly what St. Valentine was fighting for. So now we know why we celebrate all the mushy gushy lovey dovey stuff on Valentine's Day! Hope you all enjoy this time until Easter as we get to know more and more saints!
That's all for now,