What is the real thing about Valentine?
by Shahid Khan Valentine day has become one of the most celebrated days in the calendar year. Around a billion cards are exchanged, promises of love are made in candle light and parties rock the world as it celebrates the “Valentine Day”. The day when the theme of “LOVE” is commemorated after the undying examples of love set by the life of the Christian martyr St. Valentine. It widely believed that St. Valentine demonstrated love through his actions during the Roman Empire by reaching out to the persecuted segments of the societies of his day.
Love means bridging the gap
According to the legends, St Valentine was a Priest in Rome when Church was going through lot of persecution from the Roman Empire under Claudius II. It is said that St Valentine was imprisoned for to helping Christians escape the wave of persecution and for administering the sacrament of marriage against the rule of the day. The emperor thought that married men do not make good soldiers. It is also believed that St Valentine would cut hearts from parchment to the soldiers to encourage them and remind the soldiers of “God’s never ending love”.
The Roman authorities put him into prison for his acts and for working against the Roman Empire.
Claudius II met St. Valentine in prison and wanted to convert him to Roman Paganism while St Valentine wanted to convert the emperor to Christianity. However, St Valentine was executed. It is also believed that St Valentine performed miracles and healed the daughter of the Jailer Asterius who later believed in Jesus and was baptized.
Enduring example of love
St Valentine is the embodiment of love, support, and sacrifice in the times of troubles and tribulation when many desert even members of your family. St Valentine became the hope for many and stood in the face of troubles. It is a perfect example of love which demands a self-less interest without any ulterior motives. A god-sent love manifested and practiced in the lives of St. Valentines who believed the love of God as the ultimate source of life and lived the love through their actions.
Lesson from the lives of Valentines
I think we can follow and learn a lot from the life of Valentine, not only about the romantic love which through the course of history has become as such and we instantly engage Valentine with it but also, it is a great lesson of bravery, fortitude, support, and unequal demonstration of love lived through the daily life.
In a modern day of materialism and smoke screen when so many things are gauged at the face value, we need to remember that love is not only about the outer appearance which is so fleeting but the ever-abiding gifts of love, hope and sacrifice are the real treasures of human life. Over the years, I have learnt that love is more than a beer and skittle. It is more than a valentine day and bigger than a rose and deeper than a message written on the Valentine Card. The true and ever-abiding love which has ability to change the whole face of the world. Just like St. Valentine did.
Hope for the Persecuted Church
We hear a lot about persecution across the world. There is hardly any country where Christians are not marginalized, discriminated and their rights are violated almost every day. We need to remember that we Christians have to act like “Valentines” in order to support, help, and assist the persecuted Church. We are the Valentines of the persecuted Church. Their hopes are our Christian lives and values.
Whoever your Valentine is this year – the lesson of selfless love is all what makes the difference.