Today is the feast day of brothers St Cyril & St Methodius as well as of St Valentine. All three men were early Christians dedicated to the spread of the Gospel in a hostile culture. Valentine in the Roman Empire, Cyril & Methodius in Eastern Europe in the 9th Century. Just as Paul and Barnabas ‘spoke out fearlessly,’ so too did these three men. It cost St Valentine his life.
St Valentine was a priest who served during third century Rome. There was an Emperor at that time by the name of Claudius II. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those that were married. With this thought in mind he outlawed marriage for young men in hopes of building a stronger military base. Valentine, decided this decree just wasn’t fair and chose to marry young couples secretly. When Emperor Claudius II found out about Valentine’s actions he had him put to death.
In the Catholic tradition, some of the most powerful signs of God’s presence are the sacraments. The sacrament of marriage has a vital role in revealing the passionate love that Christ has for his bride, the Church.
Heart shaped chocolates and teddy bears have become a symbol of 14th February in the commercial world. But in an age where everything has become increasingly secularised, it is important to use ideas from the culture around us and reflect on the spiritual side of Valentine’s Day! The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference has released a resource kit for parishes, families, students and youth ministers to get the most out of St. Valentine’s Day.
Click on “download this article” to access the 2012 Valentine’s Day Resource Kit – and spread the word about the true meaning of February 14th via the link below!