On February 14, we celebrate Valentine's Day, the holiday of love. By tradition, on Valentine's Day, you declare your love for someone, by giving them a token of your love; such as heart-shaped candy or a Valentine's Day card. "Be my Valentine" is a way of declaring your love for someone, hoping that they will return that love. In deed, "be my Valentine" is actually a proposal; as you are asking the one you love if they will be yours. You are asking the one you love if they will share their life with you.

It all started with a priest from Rome named Valentine who lived during the reign of the Emperor Claudius II (Claudius the Cruel as he was known). Claudius, who wanted a big army, believed that married men would make poor soldiers. Married men just don’t want to fight in wars. They do not want to leave their wives or their children. So Claudius outlawed all marriages and cancelled all engagements.

Father Valentine did not agree with the emperor. He believed that you could not outlaw love. He also believed that marriage was ordained by God and could not be outlawed by a man, even the emperor. So Father Valentine secretly performed weddings for all who asked him. Since the people couldn’t openly announce their marriages, the couples would give tokens to each other, signifying their love for each other. These tokens became known as valentines.

When Claudius discovered what Father Valentine was doing, he was outraged. Valentine was arrested and condemned to death for defying the emperor, by performing weddings for young people who were in love. On February 14 in the year 270, Valentine was executed, becoming a martyr and saint of the church.

John says, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15: 13) Saint Valentine gave his life, so that those in love could be married. In this, he followed in the footsteps of Jesus, who gave His life so that we could be forgiven and live. Valentine’s Day is a day of love. It is a day where we show our love for each other. On this Valentine’s Day, let us remember Saint Valentine, a priest who gave his life so people could show their love for each other; and let us remember Jesus, who gave His life because He loves us. Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Pastor Ron