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On this page:

  • Historic background
  • St. Valentine Prayer
  • Children's Message: Love
  • 2 Sermons

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Historic background of Valentines Day:

The legend of St. Valentine stems from real-life martyrs from the Roman Empire known as Valentines. It is unsure who was the St. Valentine; there are at least two candidates: One of them is believed to have been a Roman priest and physician killed in the third century, during the persecutions of the Emperor Claudius II Gothicus. After his death this Valentine was apparently buried in the Roman road Via Flaminia. Pope Julius I is said to have later built a basilica above his grave. A second St. Valentine candidate believed to be a bishop of Teni who was also executed in Rome.

These men’s status comes from legends of harboring Christians from persecution, curing the blindness of a cell keeper’s daughter, and conducting Christian marriages while they were forbidden by the government. It is perhaps this last repute that made St. Valentine the patron saint of lovers.

 

Great Valentine's Day Prayer
(from a church wall in Mexico)

Give us, Senior, a little sun, a little happiness, and some work.
Give us a heart to comfort those in pain.
Give us the ability to be good, strong, wise, and free,
   so that we may be as generous with others as we are with ourselves.
Finally, Senior, let us all live as your own one family.  Amen.

 

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Sermon Excerpt:

What’s Love Got to Do With It?
a message based on Valentine's Day;
John 13:34-35; Mat 5:23-24
by F. Schaefer

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."  John 13:34-35

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
Mat 5:23-24


I must be getting old(er), because I honestly don’t remember Valentine’s Day to be such a big deal when I was growing up. I’ve heard it said that the chocolate and flower retailers were responsible for making this holiday as prominent as it is today. Be that as it may I think it’s a wonderful idea to have a designated day for the celebration of romantic love.

Let’s not forget that romantic love too is a gift from God. The New Testament words for love are philios (“brotherly love”), agape, (“divine love”) and eros (“romantic love”)—the latter being just as much part of God’s gifts and graces than the former two. Yet, we often feel funny about even mentioning romance in church. Heaven forbid we should hear the s _ _ word in a sermon. . .

Valentine’s Day could easily be claimed as a Christian holiday. I think most people are aware of the fact that Valentine’s Day has roots in Christian popular celebration of God’s gift of romantic love. St. Valentine is the patron Saint of lovers and as legend has it, he was a priest who performed secret marriage ceremonies in Rome when Christian marriages were unlawful. One night Valentine was caught, thrown in jail and sentenced to die. But many young people came to the jail to visit him. They threw flowers and notes up to his window. After his execution a note was found in his cell addressed to a friend which he had signed with “Love from your Valentine.” This is a Christian legend, but as we know, every legend has roots in some historic truth.
I for one want to make a case for using Valentine’s Day as an opportunity today to speak about romantic love and love in general. We need to remember that if we don’t teach about romantic love in church, our kids will learn about it “on the street.” We could simply miss our chance to tell God’s side of the story.

What is God’s side of the story? Traditionally, Christians have made a strong point about sexual relationships belonging into a committed, lasting relationship. And that certainly is not only a good spiritual principle, but it also appeals to one’s common-sense, knowing the emotional pain that usually follows when two lovers break up.....

 

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