From Your Valentine
- Sr. Karen C. Moreles, Tc () - February 14, 2010 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Have you ever asked who Valentine is? Have you ever wondered why Valentine’s Day is a time for lovers to go out for a date; why hotels and restaurants are fully-booked; why roses are in demand; and why schools usually have their Junior-Senior Promenade at this time? Do you ever wonder why February is considered the love month and why red is its motif?

Valentine is not just a word or the name of the boy next door. He is a saint and is the patron of lovers. St. Valentine was a holy priest from Rome at the time when Claudius was the emperor.

Claudius issued a decree that all single men be made soldiers rather than marry. St. Valentine felt that the decree was unfair so he continued to administer the Sacrament of Matrimony to young lovers in secret. When the emperor discovered what Valentine had been doing, he was arrested, tortured and was beheaded on February 14, 269, on the Flaminian Way.

Valentine’s act of faith in God led him to his martyrdom, his shedding of blood. That is why red is the motif of this month as red symbolizes love, blood, bravery and martyrdom.

There is one legend, however, that tells of Valentine falling in love with a young girl while he was still in jail. The young girl may have been his jailor’s daughter. It was said that before his death, Valentine wrote her a letter which he signed “From your Valentine.” Although the truth behind this legend is murky, the stories reveal St. Valentine as a sympathetic, heroic and romantic figure.

The name Valentine also signifies valor and for many centuries, lovers have appealed to him for courage and strength when facing difficulties in their love affairs. The custom of sending love letters on February 14 is based on the belief that the birds, after a long winter abstinence from love-making, begin to pair on St. Valentine’s Day.

St. Valentine intercedes for all of us who, at many times, lack courage in showing our love to God, to our family, to our loved ones, and to the rest of God’s creation.

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