Why Do We Celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Did you know that Valentine’s Day began with a prison ministry?
In the year 520 A.D., the early church set aside February 14 to remember the heroic death of a man named Valentine. He was beheaded on a pagan altar because he refused to renounce Jesus Christ. According to historic tradition, Valentine was born into a wealthy Roman family, and converted to Christianity as a young man. It was around 240 A.D when the Church was severely persecuted by the Roman Emperor, Claudius II and thousands of Christians were imprisoned in the dark, tomb-like jails of Rome. Wealthy Romans considered it entertainment to visit the prisons and watch Christians tortured to death.
Valentine took advantage of his family connections and also visited the prisons. However, he made it his mission to smuggle-in small gifts of food to those facing death, and always enclosed a short note expressing love and encouragement.
Valentine was devout and stronghearted, and he was eventually arrested and martyred in Rome about 270 A.D. Although the roots of tradition are largely forgotten, his ministry of love and caring is still commemorated today!
It is very important to teach our children the Christian roots of many worldly traditions. They are never too young to appreciate the joy that comes from showing the love of Jesus to others. Some of us can remember the days when it was possible to take children into Nursing Homes to deliver gifts and cards.
May God make us a blessing to others, no matter what restrictions are in this Month of February 2021. God loves you! Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!