February 14th is a very special day. It’s the day that Hallmark, Pro-Flowers, Brachs, Hersheys, Build-a-Bear, Godiva, Macy’s, Kay Jewelers, JCPenney, Fred Meyer Jewelers, and many other retailers get a little boost in their bottom line. It’s the day that women don’t forget and men wish they could forget. It’s the day that love seems to be in the air and Cupid is brandishing his bow and arrow… It’s Valentine’s Day. Over the past several years, I’ve made it a goal of mine to research a holiday BEFORE I begin to celebrate it. So, before purchasing that gift or giving well-wishes in the name of Valentine’s Day… Can I at least KNOW what Valentine’s Day means and where it came from?
The FIRST and most notable historic event for Valentine’s Day is to celebrate the martyrdom of Valentinus. Valentinus was put in jail for performing weddings for soldiers who weren’t allowed to get married AND for ministering to the persecuted Christians of the Roman Empire.
Wait… This dude was put in jail for performing marriage ceremonies in the military. But that was only his first charge. He was also locked up for preaching the Gospel!! Look how far we’ve come? Today, the sanctity of marriage (marriage between a man and woman) is continually under attack AND our society has become less observant and more venomous towards the Holy Script. Are we turning into the Roman Empire? I digress…
While in prison, Valentinus continues to minister and he is noted to have healed the daughter of Asterius, the warden. Prior to his execution, Valentinus wrote a farewell letter to Asterius’ daughter and he signed it… “from your Valentine”. He was executed on February 14th.
Check this out, this man apparently had much affection towards her because of his signature. You see, you don’t take ownership of what you don’t love. Here’s a simple, yet powerful, example… When you talk about the ministry that you attend… Do you say ‘my church’? Or do you say ‘the church’? When you love, you take ownership. When we speak of our relationships, we say this is ‘my friend Elaine’, ‘my Elaine’ or in response ‘your friend Valentine’ or ‘your Valentine’, as was written.
Also, who do you write a farewell letter to before being executed? Generally, before a person dies that last letter is a one of statement. They are making that last statement. So, they will write to those that are closest to their hearts. They write to those that matter most to them… the ones they love. Why is this? When death is knocking at your door, you do a whole lot of cleaning of the house!!! The things that don’t really matter are disposed of and the things that do are shined up!
There have been many additions, updates and changes to this holiday since Valentinus’ died. We’ve added postcards, notes, and letters. Cupid, candy, and chocolates have been added. Flowers, bouquets and the like have peppered the landscape. Special dinners, and romantic rendezvouses have become the norm. But, it all comes down to a man who loved people enough to bind their love in holy matrimony, ministering to the people in spite of the ‘law’ AND his final display of love for a woman that God healed thru him…
Will YOU be MY Valentine?
I love you ALL!!!