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Valentine’s Day or St. Valentine Day

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.

Conclusion:

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”

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Christmas: The joyous festival

Hola, it’s that time of the year again!
December – The Christmas month. It’s when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Isn’t it all about cakes, greetings, presents, lights, etc? Is it? No! Christmas is something beyond that. It’s all about happiness, love, and joy and more importantly remembering the birth of Christ as Christmas marks to be the greatest event in the history of human race. It is the night when god stooped down from heaven and became a human being. On that night the bible says,” The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14)
On this auspicious time, I remember an extraordinary verse from the bible which is quoted in Isaiah: 9:6,

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given”

Sometimes I just wonder how beautifully the word of god (Bible)  is written,

Who is this son?
Who is this child?
Why is it quoted as the child is born and the son is given and if the son is given then definitely there must be someone who gave the son? So, who is the giver? Bible says in John 3:16 as,

“For god so loved the world that he gave his one and only son. So that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life”

So, it is god who gave his one and only son. But, why?

“He gave himself as a ransom for everyone” (1 Timothy 2:6)

Yes! The son of god was born as a ransom for everyone – For you & me. He was born so that everyone who believes in him will not perish instead have an eternal life.
Now, the Christ is born but where’s the news? Someone would have got the news about the birth of Christ. Did anyone? Yes – The Shepherds.
The first good news about the birth of Christ was given to shepherds by the angels which is quoted in Luke 2:8-14,

  • And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
  • An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
  • But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
  • Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
  • This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
  • Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
  • “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

But, why only the Shepherds first?Jesus says in John 10:11,

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”

Yes. Jesus is the good shepherd and as he said that, ‘The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep’ he laid his life for us as the ransom of our sins and he did die on the cross for our sins and so he said, “I am the good shepherd”

Okay. So, who is the reason for this season?

Santa? – No.

Gifts? – No.

Jesus? – Yes. 

Jesus is the only reason for this beautiful season!

P.S: You may have heard the Christmas story a hundred times. This year, deepen your understanding.

Merry Christmas, folks!