Let's remember to keep the saint in St. Valentine's Day
Dying for Christ, St. Valentine deserves reverence on his feast day.
A brutal nor'easter is bearing down on New England, a day after the South was hit with a nearly unprecedented snowstorm. The wintry weather is wreaking havoc with Valentine's Day deliveries and is likely the snow will spoil the holiday for many people in the Northeast.
Let's remember the feast day of St. Valentine is about the life of a Catholic saint, and isn't about flowers and romance.
Although the Northeast is generally better prepared to deal with weather of this sort, it comes on a holiday that usually involves people going out. Florists in particular, are scrambling to rearrange flower deliveries around the worst of the winter weather. Most are hoping to beat the storm, and others are afraid that the deliveries may come a day or so late.
Honor this venerable saint with one of these special items of remembrance.
Some florists can make as much money on Valentine's Day as they do in two months of business. Unsatisfied customers balanced against the risk of danger to delivery drivers, will make things difficult for florists and anxious lovers both this Valentines.
While others may lament their perfect holiday plans gone awry, this inopportune storm is a reminder of how fortunate we are, and how much we take safety and comfort, and the quality of our infrastructure for granted. Yes, despite America's aging infrastructure, it still many times better than it is in many other parts of the world.
The snow may also give shut-ins an opportunity to contemplate the true meaning of St. Valentine's Day. Typically, St. Valentine's Day is celebrated with an orgy of spending, consumption, and lust. It isn't a very Catholic way to celebrate the feast day of a saint.
However, rapid commercialism and secularism in the United States, and in much of the industrialized world, has led to this inevitable result.
In fact, while most Christians continue to fight to keep Christ in Christmas, very few seem to care about keeping the saint in Valentine's Day.
Nobody can begrudge the celebration of romance between two loving people who have made a commitment to one another, especially in marriage. However, as faithful Catholics we should ask ourselves if we truly appreciate the significance of the feast day.
For those that may not know, St. Valentine was martyred in the third century for the crime of marrying Christian couples and his refusal to pay homage to the Roman emperor as a living deity. Before his death, according to legend, St. Valentine cured a young woman of blindness. He wrote at least one letter to this fortunate woman which he signed with, "your Valentine."
Nothing in the legend suggests that the relationship between the pair was romantic, but rather it was rooted deeply in Christian love. In honor of St. Valentine, we too are also called to brotherly and sisterly love. St. Valentine's Day, shouldn't be about consumerism and lust, but rather about remembering and honoring this noble St. and emulating his devotion to others.
So this holiday, while you may be snowed in, and the florist arrives too early, or too late, pause to remember the true meaning of Valentine's Day and think about what you can do to restore the integrity of this noble saint's feast day.
Keep the Saint in St. Valentine's Day.
Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lords invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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