SAINT VALENTINE’S DAY - A Talk by David Hawken

SAINT VALENTINE’S DAY - A Talk by David Hawken

Un article rédigé par David HAWKEN - RCF Poitou Vienne,  -  Modifié le 14 février 2021
Perspectives - Espace spirituel anglophone SAINT VALENTINE’S DAY - A Talk by David Hawken
Good morning, and a Happy Saint Valentine’s Day to you. Ladies have you received your red roses? Gentlemen, I hope you’ve given them to the right person! They, like today’s Saint, represent “LOVE” which topic we will consider in a moment or two.
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First, what do we know about Valentine? 

St. Valentine, (died 3rd century, Rome; feast day February 14), is the name of one or maybe two legendary Christian martyrs whose lives seem to be historically based.  

By some accounts, St. Valentine was a Roman priest and physician who suffered martyrdom during the persecution of Christians by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus about 270. According to legend, St. Valentine signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended and healed from blindness. Hence the romantic connection.

Saints are certainly expected to keep busy in the afterlife. Their holy duties include interceding in earthly affairs and entertaining petitions from living souls. In this respect, St. Valentine has wide-ranging spiritual responsibilities. People call on him to watch over the lives of lovers, of course, but also for interventions regarding beekeeping and epilepsy, as well as the plague, fainting and travelling. As you might expect, he’s also the patron saint of engaged couples and happy marriages.

However, few practices of the Church are so misunderstood today as devotion to patron saints. From the earliest days of the Church, groups of the faithful (families, parishes, regions, countries) have chosen a particularly holy person who has passed on to intercede for them with God. Seeking the intercession of a patron saint does not mean that one cannot approach God directly in prayer; rather, it's like asking a friend to pray for you to God, while you also pray—except, in this case, the friend is already in Heaven, and can pray to God for us without distractions. 

Some Christians argue that patron saints detract from the emphasis on Christ as our Saviour. Why approach a mere man or woman with our petitions when we can approach Christ directly? But that confuses Christ's role as mediator between God and man with the role of intercessor. Scripture urges us to pray for one another; and, as Christians, assuming we believe that those who have died still live, and therefore are capable of offering prayers as we do, then it's the communion of saints, in actual practice.

In fact, the holy lives lived by the saints are themselves testimony to the saving power of Christ, without Whom the saints could not have risen above their fallen nature.

Valentine might stand for Love, But, let’s be honest about this, Saints are – or were – only imperfect human beings whom God has taken in hand, and, in His mercy and grace, guided to be special people.  The only true love comes from God Himself.                                           
Hear what another Saint, John, the disciple of Jesus says:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 
(Gospel of John 3:16).

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
(1 John 4:11)

And let us not love just with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
(1 John 3:18)
And I don’t think he meant chocolates and flowers!                                                                            

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