The month of February brings excitement and thrill to the youth as they look forward to celebrate a day in this month as Valentine’s day. Every year on this day – 14th of February, many youngsters believe this day is all about flowers, red hearts, chocolates, gifts, cards, romance etc.No! This day is all about Love.
What is Love? Love is an emotion, an expression. Love is as old as creation of God.He created everything as an expression of his love and wisdom. Love makes life worth living at all levels of life and relationships – husband and wife,parents and children,teachers and students,friend to friend and above all God and man.
Today,how many people are even aware of this? 14th-Feb-The Valentine’s Day is named after a Saint Valentine? These days,people are so busy with their love and own kind of romance which gives them no time to think about the origin or history about certain things. Let us see some of the facts or the history about how Valentine’s Day originated.
Their lived a man called Valentine in the third century at Rome who had a deep love for God and it was the period of King Claudius || and during his period many Christians were persecuted and the soldiers in the army of King Claudius || were not allowed to marry. Since, King Claudius || believed that – “Unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to them or their wives or families if they died.” This was the environment and society where a man called Valentine lived. Due to the persecution of Christians,St. Valentine encouraged them and helped them during their sufferings and he even encouraged many soldiers to marry and he secretly made it happen due to the edict.
St. Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against the command of King Claudius ||. In the year 269 AD, St. Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of beating, stoning and finally to be beheaded because of his stand of christian marriage.
St. Valentine was a doctor and a great man of learning filled with wisdom.Their was a jailer named Asterius who silently observed St Valentine and one fine day he asked him whether he can teach some lessons of life to his daughter Julia who was blind since birth to which St. Valentine affirmed. Julia was a pretty and young girl with a quick mind and Valentine used to read stories of Rome’s history and he even described the world of nature to her. He even taught arithmetic and told her about God. She saw the world through his eyes and she trusted his wisdom and found comfort in his quiet strength.
One day Julia asked Valentine,does God really hear our prayers?
‘Yes, he does.He hears each one of us’,Valentine replied.
Julia said, “Do you know what I pray for every morning and every night? I pray that I might see. I want to see everything with my eyes which you’ve told me about.”
“God does what is best for us if we believe in him” – Valentine replied.
Julia said, “I do believe.I do” and she grasped his hand and knelt to pray.
They sat quietly together praying. Suddenly there was a bright ray of light in the prison cell. Radiant, Julia screamed with joy,”Valentine I can see.I can see.”
“Praise be to God!” Valentine exclaimed and he continued his prayers.
Finally,the day arrived February 14, 270 AD. The day which was meant for St. Valentine to be beheaded and a day before that i.e 13th – February, Evening time St. Valentine wrote a last note to Julia thanking her for their friendship and urging her to stay close to God,signing it off as “From your Valentine” and the next day he was beheaded in front of the people and that place was later named as ‘Porta Valentini’ in his memory. He was buried at a place which is now known as the ‘Church of Praxedes’ in Rome.
It is said that Julia planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave. Today, the almond tree planted there stands as a symbol of abiding love and friendship.
Let us practice loving each other for love comes from God. Let us learn from the life of St. Valentine, he got nothing in return for helping the soldiers to get married but the soldiers did lived a happy life.He got nothing by encouraging the persecuted people but people who were encouraged lived a better life then before.St. Valentine was beheaded due to his deeds with only intention of love. The world may give you nothing if you express your love or maybe the world will hate you in return.No matter what,let us practice loving each other for love comes from God.
“Love Conquers All”