As society attempts to redefine or eliminate the institution of marriage as well as various Biblical beliefs and practices, the groundwork for a future generation void of any Biblical, cultural, or spiritual reference points is already well underway. The church itself has abandoned or redefined many historical practices or traditions that brought the saints a time for reflection, repentance, or celebration for the things God and his loyal saints had done in previous generations. The Catholic Church, as well as most mainline Protestant churches, used to put out a yearly calender with every day set aside to remember and celebrate a past saint's life. It was done to honor those who had gone before us and who paid a tremendous cost for the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
One of the saints who was awarded an honor of having a day to commemorate his life was St. Valentine. The most popular story to be associated with Saint Valentine is that he lived approximately 250A.D. St. Valentine was a leader in the church at Rome, which was being persecuted at the time by the Roman Emperor Claudius II. Claudius had imposed a ban on marriage because married men could not be conscripted into the military. St. Valentine violated the ban and conducted marriages anyway. He was imprisoned and executed for his violation of the Emperor's decree as well as for trying to convert the emperor to Christianity.
While awaiting his execution, Valentine befriended his jailer and the jailer's daughter. Legend has it that the jailer's daughter was blind and received her sight when St. Valentine prayed over her. Valentine and the jailer's daughter became good friends in a parental sort of relationship and communicated with each other frequently while he was in prison. After Valentine's execution, the jailer's daughter went to Valentine's cell where she found a note addressed to her. The note was from St. Valentine and encouraged her in her service to God and to also thanked her for her visits and friendship. The note concluded with the farewell of...."Love, from your Valentine"!
As we celebrate Saint Valentine's Day with our loved ones, may we recall the origin and the meaning of the day as well as the ultimate sacrifice of the man associated with it. May we be inspired to stand, proclaim, and live the message of Christ without compromise and dedicate every day for the glory of Jesus Christ!