St. Valentine (school mass)

Good morning Children of St. John Vianney! Today in Holy Mass, we remember two saints St. Cyril and Methodius, but in the Roman Martyrology for today, there is also another saint; this is why there are so many red hearts around, because it is the feast day of St. Valentine.

St. Valentine lived way back in the Roman Empire, when there were laws against being Catholic. You weren’t supposed to be a Catholic, but that didn’t stop people, they did it secretly.

Emperor Claudius had also issued an edict forbidding marriage. He needed to increase his army, and he thought that unmarried, single men made better soldiers. Now Valentine was a Catholic priest, and he therefore secretly met with young couples, and prepared them for the sacrament of marriage. Eventually he was arrested for doing this, but he didn’t care.

Emperor Claudius demanded that he stop this and also worship the pagan gods instead of Jesus. Valentine answered: ‘If you but knew the grace of God, you would turn your mind from idols and adore the true God who is in heaven.’ But the emperor’s heart was hardened, and he ordered that Valetine be put to death for following Christ.

Now while he was awaiting his death, he was in jail; there, Valentine prayed that the Lord would enlighten even the people in that jail. His jail guard, whose name was Asterius, had a blind daughter, and the daughter felt sorry for Valentine, and often brought him food in prison. In gratitude, he one day prayed over the girl, and her sight was miraculously restored. This led the whole household of Asterius to convert to the faith.

While in prison, Valentine would look out of his cell window, through the cold, iron bars into the blue sky, and doves would sometimes land near the window. He thought about the married couples he had prepared, and about his family. He wanted to send them a message. Well just within reach, grew a cluster of violets. Reaching between the bars, he took some of the leaves, which were shaped like a heart, and he poked holes in them with a thorn, forming words. “Remember your Valentine,” he would write. Attaching them to the doves, he sent them out. The next day, and the next, he sent more messages that simply said, “I love you, your Valentine” And so this legend would seem to be the origin of sending Valentines.

After performing many cures, and bringing so many people to love Jesus, St. Valentine was beheaded for the Faith, on Feb. 14th, 273, in Rome. He was a wonderful priest who became a martyr for Christ.

Today is a day that, following the example of St. Valentine, we send notes to people, to tell them we love them, and that we are glad they are our friends. Let’s be sure today to tell our parents that we love them very much.

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