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St. Valentine Of Rome

By tulc · Feb 14, 2021 · ·
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    On the western calendar of saints, February 14 is traditionally the feast of St. Valentine of Rome. The eastern calendar, which is followed by most of the Orthodox Church, celebrates St. Valentine of Rome on July 6.

    According to the hagiographic tradition, St. Valentine was a priest, renowned for his mercy to the poor and to those suffering or in need. However, most celebrations of St. Valentine, especially in Western countries associate the saint with romantic love and marriage.

    There is some traditional basis for this connection to love and marriage, but not because he was some sort of Cupid. Rather, as the story goes, during the reign of Emperor Claudius II, it was declared that men couldn't marry before completing their military obligations. This was because recently married men could use their marriage as an excuse to avoid serving. At that time, there was a shortage of soldiers, and this loophole hindered Claudius's war effort. Thus, in order to further imperial prerogative, it was declared that people should give love the backseat to civics.

    Valentine, as was typical for Christians of his time, cared little for the ambitions of Emperors, and so he began to marry couples in secret. By defending marriage, Valentine also subverted the war effort and helped young families resist the draft. For his treason and sedition, Valentine was executed.

    His martyric witness to the Gospel was that we should ultimately look to the bonds between people to build societies, not the force of arms.

Comments

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  1. tulc
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    "Nature did not fashion human beings to be like solitary beasts, but rather like a flock of gregarious animals who share the same pastures, so that each person would live not only for himself, but also for his father and mother, for his siblings, for his spouse, for his children, for his other relatives, for his friends, for his fellow townsmen, for his fellow countrymen, for those living in his part of the world, for all humanity, even for every aspect of things, for the entire world, and foremost, for his God and Maker."
    - Abba Isaiah, as quoted by St. John Damascene
  2. tulc
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    Instead of arming themselves with swords, Christians extend their hands in prayer.
    +St Athanasius
  3. tulc
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    This is the rule of the most perfect Christianity, its most exact definition, its highest point, namely, the seeking of the common good... For nothing can so make a man an imitator of Christ as caring for his neighbors. Indeed, even though you fast, or sleep on hard ground, or even suffer unto death, but should you take no thought for your neighbor, you have done nothing great; despite what you have done, you still stand far from this model of a perfect Christian.

    +St John Chrysostom.
  4. tulc
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    Let yourself be persecuted, but do not persecute others.
    Be crucified, but do not crucify others.
    Be slandered, but do not slander others.
    Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep: such is the sign of purity.
    Suffer with the sick.
    Be afflicted with sinners.
    Exult with those who repent.
    Be the friend of all, but in your spirit remain alone.
    Be a partaker of the sufferings of all, but keep your body distant from all.
    Rebuke no one, revile no one, not even those who live very wickedly.
    Spread your cloak over those who fall into sin, each and every one, and shield them.
    And if you cannot take the fault on yourself and accept punishment in their place, do not destroy their character.

    -St Isaac the Syrian
  5. tulc
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    +St. Theophylact of Ochrid