“Soul meets soul on lovers’ lips.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley
St. Valentine is the patron saint of love, young people, and happy marriages. His feast day – yes, you guessed it – is February 14th. The world commemorates the exhilaration of love with flowers, candy, romantic dinners and festive parties. A quick Google search confirmed that we spend literally billions of dollars, worldwide, on Valentine’s Day. I wonder what St. Valentine would say?
St. Valentine lived in Rome under the rule of Claudius II, an emperor known for persecuting the early Christian church. The story goes that Claudius II banned marriages because he believed he could recruit more young men into the military if they did not have a family life awaiting them at home. St. Valentine, a holy priest, disregarded the order and took on the role of the protector of lovers. The inevitable happened. He was caught in the act of marrying a young Christian couple. He was apprehended, tortured and beheaded on February 14th, 270, for refusing to renounce his faith.
This week, as we look forward to the celebration Valentine’s Day, I want to explore how love and romance has kindled our imagination. St Valentine, a courageous man who lived centuries in the past, still holds the hearts of those in love.
“Don’t you think I was made for you? I feel like you had me ordered—and I was delivered to you—to be worn. I want you to wear me, like a watch-charm or a buttonhole bouquet.”
Zelda Sayre to F. Scott Fitzgerald