The Real St. Valentine

February 14, 2011

I have to admit, my husband and I are kind of anti-Valentine’s Day.

We think it is kind of silly to celebrate your love just one day out of the year. . . . when we can celebrate it every day!!

Cheesy? Probably. True? Yes.

Here’s how I “celebrated” Valentine’s Day:

1. I woke up and got ready while my husband slept. I saw my husband for about 10 minutes before I left for work.

2. No hot breakfast for the husband–he had to fend for himself.

3. No phone calls or e-mails to Mr. Craig during the work day. (Usually both are done throughout the day.)

4. After work, I plopped myself in front of the TV for 2 hours while I watched 50 women whine and complain they weren’t getting enough time with The Bachelor.

5. I was going to let my husband fend for himself for dinner as well, but I gave in and made him a little something.

Spinach Cheese Manicotti

(Recipe to come tomorrow!)

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I’m not a big history buff, but Craig is and wrote up this snip-it about the real St. Valentine:

Saint Valentine was an Orthodox priest who lived in Rome during the rule of Emperor Claudius II around approximately 270 C.E. During this time, it was illegal to be a Christian and being a Christian publicly would often result in torture, death, and martyrdom.

At this time, Valentine became famous for three things:

First, since the Christian sacrament of marriage was illegal to perform, Saint Valentine would sneak couples into the catacombs at night a perform the services for the couples.

Second, Saint Valentine would provide aid to those being persecuted by the Emperor. When they were arrested, he would visit them in prison to administer the sacraments and care for them.

Thirdly, he is know for is sharing of the faith with enemies.

When the Emperor found out Saint Valentine was doing these things, he had him arrested. General Asterius tried to get Valentine to make sacrifices to the Emperor and Roman gods, but Valentine refused. Instead Valentine healed General Asterius’ daughter’s blindness through his prayers. As a result of this healing, The General and his entire household was baptized into the faith.

This sent the Emperor into a rage, and he had the General and his household arrested and put to death.

Valentine then tried to convert the Emperor, but he would have nothing of it. He ordered that Valentine was beat to death with stones and clubs, but when his soldiers where unable to kill him, Valentine was behead.

After his martyrdom Saint Valentine was buried outside of Rome near the Flaminian Gate.

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Question

What did you do for Valentine’s Day?

Leave a comment
    1. I thought I heard somewhere that Valentine’s day as we celebrate it has some pagan ties as well, since spring time was known for fertility and match-making. Then it somehow got attached to St. Valentine.

      I watched part of the Bachelor as well and did laundry. Tim and I will probably go out for dinner next weekend πŸ™‚

    1. In the West our modern tradition of Valentines day is a hybrid holiday that blends a Christian Feast day with the Roman Festival that honors the goddess Juno. During this Roman festival young men and women would draw names out of a pot and then be partners for the rest of the festival. This would sometime result in the couple getting married and Juno was commonly refered to as the goddess of marriage. The festival of Juno occurred on February 14th. As more and more Romans became Christians old Roman holidays where often replaced by the feasts of important saints. In the West the festival of Juno was replaced by the Feast of Saint Valentine, who was know for performing marriages and is know as the pattron saint of marraige. A seemless transition.

      However it is important to note that while Valentines day in the Western Churches replaced the festival of Juno, this is not so in the Eastern Church. To this day the Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast of St. Valentine on July 6th, not February 14th. The feast of St. Valentine does not replace the festival of Juno. Instead the Feast of Saint Valentine is a day in which the Church commemorates the life of a Saint who loved his fellow man and loved God above everything else. Roman and Pagan rites are not apart the feast of Saint Valentine in the east.

      Instead members of the Orthodox Church whose pattron saint is St. Valentine celebrate the day no differently than someone else whose Name Day it was. The individual might attend a liturgy, take communion and possibly have a small party to celebrate the day.

      The day is not considered to be a Major Feast (Valentine is not a popular pattron saint in the east) and the day is not widely celebrated by the majority of people like it is in the West. In fact most Orthodox Christians probaby couldn’t even tell you the time of year, let alone the day, that the Feast of Saint Valentines is celebrated.

    1. That manicotti looks delish!

      We exchanged small gifts and went out to dinner. I’m all about decorating and holiday food themes, the “true” meaning of holidays is something I like to think I do every day and not just because it’s a special day. πŸ™‚

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