Today is Feb. 14th, the day that the Western world traditionally celebrates Valentine's Day. We all know the excitement that has become Valentine's Day, but where did it come from? Why do we express our love on this day?
St. Valentine was a physician and priest who lived in Rome in the third century. He was a martyr, which means he was murdered for believing in Jesus Christ. On this day in AD 270, Feb. 14th, Valentine was executed for his Christian faith, but it was what he did just before his death that has created our modern day celebration. He left a note of encouragement for the child of his jailer, a note that he wrote on an irregularly shaped piece of paper. This greeting became a pattern for millions of written expressions of love and caring that now are the highlight of Valentine's Day.
Valentine's Day is really a story about faith, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. For St. Valentine trusted in the sacrificial death of Christ so much, that he was willing to be put to death for it himself. The encouraging note he wrote shows that the love St. Valentine had received from His Savior Jesus, overflowed to those around him, even to the child of the man preparing him for execution. May the Lord encourage us also by this example of faith, that we may be strengthened in knowing we are not alone in our walk with our ever-present God, but are surrounded by a growing cloud of witnesses.