Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day!

A Happy Valentine's Day to the adorable couples, the ones who care, yet can only be friends, and the single folk.  In many ways, this day is directed towards all of you, not just one specific group.   Behind this day is a Saint whose life should be a testimony towards all of us.  Regardless of our relationship status, the kind of love his man portrayed is how we should learn to love.    Below is an excerpt from an article on the Roman St. Valentine... =) 

Oh! and before you all go, in Eastern Orthodox Christianity, we don't necessarily celebrate the Roman St. Valentine specifically - for various reasons - some say we celebrate on July 6th, but I'm not sure.  However, we do celebrate Hieromartyr Saint Valentine (Bishop of Interamna, Terni in Italy) on the July the 30th, so below is a picture for my fellow Eastern Orthodox friends out there. ;)   

The article excerpt:

The Orthodox Saint Valentine

St. Valentine the Hieromartyr (Feast Day - February 14 and July 6)
The ancient martyrology of the Church of Rome marks February 14th as the remembrance of "the martyr Valentine, presbyter of Rome" (Valentinus means "vigorous" in Latin). Unfortunately the historical data for the Saint is incomplete.

The Martyrdom of the Saint in Rome

Saint Valentine lived in Rome in the third century and was a priest who helped the martyrs during the persecution of Emperor Claudius II the Goth. The great virtue and catechetical activities of the Saint had become familiar. For this he was arrested and brought before the imperial court.

"Why, Valentine, do you want to be a friend of our enemies and reject our friendship?" asked the emperor.

The Saint replied "My lord, if you knew the gift of God, you would be happy together with your empire and would reject the worship of idols and worship the true God and His Son Jesus Christ."

One of these judges stopped the Saint and asked him what he thought about Jupiter and Mercury, and Valentine boldly replied, "They are miserable, and spent their lives through corruption and crime!"

The judge furiously shouted, "He blasphemes against the gods and against the empire!"

The emperor, however, continued his questions with curiosity, and found a welcome opportunity to finally learn what was the faith of Christians. Valentine then found the courage to urge him to repent for the blood of the Christians that was shed. "Believe in Jesus Christ, be baptized and you will be saved, and from this time forward the glory of your empire will be ensured as well as the triumph of your armory."

Claudius became convinced, and said to those who were present: "What a beautiful teaching this man preaches."

But the mayor of Rome, dissatisfied, began to shout: "See how this Christian mislead our Prince."

Then Claudius brought the Saint to another judge. He was called Asterios, and he had a little girl who was blind for two years. Listening about Jesus Christ, that He is the Light of the World, he asked Valentine if he could give that light to his child. St. Valentine put his hand on her eyes and prayed: "Lord Jesus Christ, true Light, illuminate this blind child." Oh the great miracle! The child saw! So the judge with all his family confessed Christ. Having fasted for three days, he destroyed the idols that were in the house and finally received Holy Baptism.

When the emperor heard about all these events, he initially thought not to punish them, thinking that in the eyes of the citizens he will look weak, which forced him to betray his sense of justice. Therefore St. Valentine along with other Christians, after they were tortured, were beheaded on 14 February in the year 268 (or 269).

For the rest of the article: 

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