No. 70 - 11th February 2018
I hope you’ve got your Valentine Cards ready, because this Wednesday is of course St Valentine’s Day, though I suspect very few people will be thinking of him on that day. He’s a bit of an elusive character really. There are at least two different stories of a St Valentine who was martyred on the 14th of February. One of them, Valentinus of Rome in the year 269, and Valentine of Terni, four years later, but both on the 14th of February. How they came to be associated with romantic love is a long story, possibly starting with one of Chaucer’s poems. However, the man himself was more interesting. Valentine of Rome was in prison, waiting to be executed for trying to convert the Emperor Claudius to Christianity. His jailor had a daughter called Julia, who was completely blind. According to the record, God did a miracle through Valentine, and healed her blindness. As you can imagine, that would have created quite an impression. Julia and the jailor and all forty six members of his household converted to Christianity and were baptised. It’s also said that on the evening before he was executed, Valentine wrote a letter to the jailor’s daughter, signing it, ‘from your Valentine’. Well, if it’s true, that would make it the first Valentine card ever sent.
According to Martin Luther King, Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend, and that was certainly the case with Valentine.
Unconditional love must be one of the greatest gifts that you can give to another human being. Not the sentimental kind of love that is expressed in many Valentine’s cards, but a love that gives everything. A love that puts the other person’s interest before it’s own. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it doesn’t brag, and it is not proud. Love isn’t rude, or selfish, and it cannot easily be made angry. Love doesn’t remember wrongs done against it. It’s never happy when others do wrong, but is always happy with the truth. 7 Love never gives up on people. It never stops trusting, never loses hope, and never quits. Love will never end”. That’s how the Bible describes love. It’s the way God loves us and it’s how he wants us to learn to love. Never mind the sentimental cards. This is a love for the other 364 days of the year. It never ends.Share via email