February 14–Valentine, Martyr

February 14th is usually recognized as a day for children to hand out cards to classmates and have parties at school, and for couples to exchange gifts and/or have romantic dinners. But Valentine’s Day originated as a church commemoration for St. Valentine, a doctor who was martyred in 270 AD. While there is certainly nothing wrong with a secular celebration of today’s holiday, it’s also good to remember the faithful believer for whom the day is named, and how God used him even while imprisoned, (as He did with many of the early apostles).

From the LCMS website:

A physician and priest living in Rome during the rule of the Emperor Claudius, Valentine become one of the noted martyrs of the third century. The commemoration of his death, which occurred in the year 270, became part of the calendar of remembrance in the early church of the West. Tradition suggests that on the day of his execution for his Christian faith, he left a note of encouragement for a child of his jailer written on an irregularly-shaped piece of paper. This greeting became a pattern for millions of written expressions of love and caring that now are the highlight of Valentine’s Day in many nations. 

Leave a Reply