It's Valentine's Day!

February 14, 2019

Some people say that Valentine's Day is just a Hallmark holiday. They believe it is a manufactured holiday, just created to make money like Secretaries Day or Bosses Day. While you can argue that Valentine’s Day is like every other holiday in that it has been greatly commercialized, Valentine’s Day has been around much longer than Hallmark.

Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. Originating as a Western Christian feast day saints Valentinus, Valentine's Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

There are numerous martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines including a written account of Saint Valentine of Rome’s imprisonment for performing weddings for soldiers, who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his judge, and before his execution he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell.

In 498 A.D., February 14 was declared St. Valentine's Day in honor of the enigmatically-romantic martyr, says catholic.org. According to history.com, people have been celebrating it since 1415, when the first known Valentine was written. The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, candy, and sending greeting cards known as valentines.

Valentine’s Day is still about showing love. We typically think romantically. There’s nothing wrong with thinking romantically, but the truth is, romance comes and goes. Buying a card, buying candy, sending a card or flowers is all wonderful, but that’s not the demonstration of true love. Jesus Christ is the one who showed us what real love is. It is selflessly giving ones’ self for the good of another. Real love doesn’t give itself because the other person deserves it—Jesus died for us while we were still sinners and still rejecting Him. Love is a decision, not an emotion. It’s a commitment for the good days and the bad days, and it never gives up.

The early followers of Jesus Christ knew that love was primary—in fact, they said, “The ONLY thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6). They believed the way we love is inextricably connected to our faith in Jesus Christ. That’s a strong statement. The ONLY thing that counts. Not the sentimental cards and candy kind, though that can be nice. The kind that really counts is our faith in Jesus Christ helping us to live and give and serve and love like Jesus Christ. That’s a Valentine worth giving and getting.