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Why we must RECLAIM Valentine’s Day!

Oselumhense Anetor, February 14, 2020, 9:02 pm

In a few hours, it’ll be another Valentine’s day. Social media is agog. It always is. I’ve seen memes, videos, screenshots, stickers; name them. Just last night, news broke that WhatsApp has hit 2 Billion active users. Imagine that? Aren’t we already suffering from information overload?

Some history (Sts. Valentine)

A quick visit to the Online Catholic Encyclopedia reveals that “at least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under date of 14 February. So, originally, the colour red to signify St Valentine’s Day didn’t directly refer to love as we now have it, but to martyrdom.

One is described as a priest at Rome, another as bishop of Interamna (modern Terni), and these two seem both to have suffered in the second half of the third century and to have been buried on the Flaminian Way” in Rome; also called the Gate of St. Valentine, probably because a small Church dedicated to St Valentine was in the immediate neighbourhood.

The third Saint Valentine, who suffered in Africa with a number of companions, is not very much known to us, as there are hardly records of his life anywhere. Hence, although February 14 is Saint Valentine’s Day in the Lutheran calendar of saints, it is not the same for the Roman Catholics. But his name is included in the official list of Saints; the Roman Matyrology.

Valentine as a Day of love

Valentine’s Day as a day of love can be traced back to traditions that were prevalent in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February, the birds began to pair. Did you read that correctly? Now you know why we say “lovebirds!” It is at this point in history that the true celebration of St Valentine’s Day was lost.

Why abandon the sacrificial love that all three Valentine’s had for Christ, which led to their Martyrdom, for the other meaning we got from the mating of birds?

What Valentine’s Day has become

I assure you that many folks have no idea how Valentine’s Day came to be. But everyone knows it’s supposed to be a day for lovers (whatever that means). So many younger folks have been lamenting on their social media fora that they have no Vals. Really? What about our parents? Our siblings? Those friends who’ve always been by our side, when we needed them the most? Aren’t these Vals enough for us?

But I get the drift. Now we’re so used to the other meaning of Valentine’s Day. Somewhere, someone has accepted to be Val to three guys at the same time. The more the merrier. Abi?

Some boy has sent his semi nude pictures to five different ladies, and bought different gifts for them all, when he feels no true love for any of them.

Someone is planning to get high on drugs or alcohol, so that he/she will have the needed courage to complete the evil course he/she may have set out for tomorrow.

A lady may have saved some numbers as “Val Mugus 1 to 6”.

Be guided!

Let’s celebrate true love this Valentine, not lust or sex.

Some ways in which we can reclaim St Valentine’s Day

Never say Valentine’s Day without adding “SAINT”. Wish people “Happy St Valentine’s Day.

Reflect on the kind of love that led these three saints to give their life for the sake of the Gospel of Christ.

Remember that love is not selfish and pleasure-seeking, but selfless and sacrificial.

Reflect on St Paul’s expression of what love is in I Corinthians 13—verses 4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. Love is not jealous, it is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury. Love does not rejoice over wrong-doing, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 

Tonight, get Mercy Chinwo’s Excess Love and play it repeatedly, then realize that no one can love you like Jesus.

Put a call through to those who actually care about you (parents, siblings, relatives, friends), and tell them how lucky you are to have them in your life.

Desire and make efforts to mend at least one broken relationship.

If you must go on a date, don’t prepare your mind for “anything.” Anything can get out of hand.

If you don’t have enough money to pay your own bills when you go dating, you’re not ready to date.

Make no plans to sleep over with a potential ‘lover’. If you must, let your friends know where you’ll be staying the night.

Don’t engage in activities that’ll rob you of your natural tendencies to be self controlled and reasonable (like smoking weed, doing drugs, drinking to stupor, taking sex enhancement drugs etc).

Finally, it suffices to say that we must refrain from chatting about things we can’t say to another in person. In other words, be very sincere. No sexting!

Do these and leave the others to God.

God bless you greatly, and have a wonderful St Valentine’s Day Celebration!

See St Valentine in the Online Catholic Encyclopedia