This morning as I was scanning through my feed on my Facebook page, a brother clergyman posted the following cartoon that shakes up our understanding of Saint Valentine, whose day we remember today. Of course, to enlarge it, please click on the cartoon.
As all good cartoons do, they raise up a deeper message.
For those you who do not know, Saint Valentine was a real person and was a martyr for the Christian faith. The Roman Catholic Church has bestowed St. Valentine to be the saint for lovers, young people, and happy marriages (hence, on the day we remember his life and martyrdom, we buy lots of fattening chocolate and expensive jewelry for loved ones). Here is just a brief paragraph about this blessed martyr, and for more, click here:
The first representation of Saint Valentine appeared in a The Nuremberg Chronicle, a great illustrated book printed in 1493. [Additional evidence that Valentine was a real person: archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine.] Alongside a woodcut portrait of him, text states that Valentinus was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius the Goth [Claudius II]. Since he was caught marrying Christian couples and aiding any Christians who were being persecuted under Emperor Claudius in Rome [when helping them was considered a crime], Valentinus was arrested and imprisoned. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner — until Valentinus made a strategic error: he tried to convert the Emperor — whereupon this priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that didn’t do it, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate [circa 269].
So, Happy St. Valentine’s Day – live your Christian life to the fullest!