Thursday, February 14, 2013

St. Valentine

There lived, in the great city of Rome, a priest who attracted the evil attention of an evil emperor, Claudius II.

            Valentine had been marrying Christian couples, and no service or sacrament was to be administered to them under Claudius’ unholy reign.  Valentine was arrested, and then became something of a favored prisoner, by which we infer a godly, a pleasant, an interesting, and invigorating character.  While prisoner, it is recorded that he restored the sight and hearing of the daughter of his jailer.

            Valentine was not content to be favored or famous . . . he wanted to see Claudius walking in the fullness of new life, and this cost him his life.  Claudius had him stoned and beaten with clubs, and when he yet lived, he was beheaded.

            Man or myth, this Valentine?  Let us consider that to us, the history or the legend of the man only lines up with what we know to be true of those early Christians whose love for others did result in healings, conversions . . . and martyrdom.

            Here is a Cor Unum valentine for each of us . . . shall we not minister the word of life to someone perishing today?  One twentieth century evangelist set out to share the Gospel with someone every day that he lived, and while that did not result in 365 conversions each year, the cumulative numbers were astonishing.

            Let us each give a “valentine” in Jesus' name today - something that comes with grace and kindness and gentle wisdom from the heart of God - where we may before the sun goes down on this Valentine’s Day. 

Shrine of St. Valentine
Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church,
Dublin, Ireland
blackfish, by permission

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