Tomorrow is the day of romance known as Valentine’s Day. But is it really a day for romance or is it a day for love? The widely accepted story of the origin of our modern celebration is not of a romantic love but an even greater love. St. Valentine was a priest in Rome who was executed for following his Christian belief and refusing to turn from his faith. The night before his execution, it is told that he performed a miracle by healing his jailer’s blind daughter, Julia. The jailer and his entire household became believers. St. Valentine is said to have written Julia a letter and signed it “Your Valentine.”
The love St. Valentine had for his Lord translated to the persecuted people under Roman rule. His commitment to God’s work and his compassion for others led to the miracle and to his letter. The first valentine represented a type of love that involved the will and the entire personality. Unlike the version of love today that is a spontaneous emotional affection.
Jesus told Peter that if he loved him he should, “Take care of my sheep.” (John 21:16) I grew up on a ranch and learned young that caring for animals meant seeing to all their needs. That is the kind of love Jesus wants us to have; a love so strong that we can see and care for others.
There is nothing wrong with the way we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Remember the kind of love it began as and pass that love on.
What are you doing to express your love to others?