Happy St. Valentines Day to all!
On the Traditional Catholic Calendars, today is a day to Commemorate St. Valentine, priest and martyr.
Today, although many don't realize it, St. Valentine's Day is based on the life of St. Valentine, a Roman martyr who was beheaded in c. 269-273 AD. Emperor Claudius II declared that unmarried men were potential soldiers, so he outlawed marriage. However, St. Valentine abhorred his outrageous action and continued to marry young couples. Claudius attempted to convert St. Valentine to paganism, but St. Valentine resisted and attempted to bring Claudius to the Church and Jesus Christ. For this, the Emperor had St. Valentine beheaded.
In prison he helped the imprisoned soon-to-be martyrs. The jailer saw that Valentine was a man of learning, so he brought his daughter, Julia, to Valentine for lessons. Julia was a young girl, who had been blind since her birth. During the lessons, St. Valentine would read to her about the history of Rome. And, he taught her about God. The following is an account of St. Valentine that was emailed to me:
"Valentinus, does God really hear our prayers?" Julia asked one day.
"Yes, my child, He hears each one."
"Do you know what I pray for every morning and every night? I pray that I might see. I want so much to see everything you've told me about!"
"God does what is best for us if we will only believe in Him," Valentinus said.
"Oh, Valentinus, I do believe! I do!" She knelt and grasped his hand.
They sat quietly together, each praying. Suddenly there was a brilliant light in the prison cell. Radiant, Julia screamed, "Valentinus, I can see! I can see!"
"Praise be to God!" Valentinus exclaimed, and he knelt in prayer.
On the eve of his death Valentinus wrote a last note to Julia, urging her to stay close to God. He signed it, "From your Valentine." His sentence was carried out the next day, February 14, 270 A.D., near a gate that was later named Porta Valentini in his memory. He was buried at what is now the Church of Praxedes in Rome. It is said that Julia planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave. Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship. On each February 14, Saint Valentine's Day, messages of affection, love, and devotion are exchanged around the world."
After her healing, the jailer too was converted to Christianity.
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God: that we, who celebrate the heavenly birthday of blessed Valentine, Thy Martyr, may, through his intercession, be strengthened in the love of Thy name. Through our Lord.
Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal