Will the real St. Valentine please stand up?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

What does this day mean to you?  To most it is about declaring your love, chocolate hearts, and dinner out.  For children, they exchange brief cards with cute comments like, “Be mine, Valentine!”

There is actually a very heroic story behind Valentine’s day and it doesn’t involve Cupid, Arrow or Chocolate.  Valentine’s Day is named in honor of Saint Valentinus a 3rd century minister of the early church.  (He died about AD 270 and is to be differentiated from the heretic Valentinus (c. AD 140) who was a leading Gnostic advocate.)  St. Valentine was a noble advocate of marriage in a time in which is was forbidden.

This morning I read to my daughters an account of St. Valentinus, a man who resisted the Roman Emporer Claudius II who forbade marriage.  Apparently, Claudius outlawed marriage to be able to conscript more young men into his army to fight off the barbarians who were threatening Rome.  Against the law of the land, Valentinus (himself a minister) performed wedding ceremonies for young couples in secret–how romantic!

St. Valentine was placed in jail, but while there led a guard to faith in Jesus.  According to the story, Valentine prayed for the guard’s blind daughter who received the miracle of having her sight restored.

Valentinus was martyred on the 14th of February around AD 270 (on a Roman Holiday named Lupercalia).  He knew that marriage was ordained by God and when forced with a conflict between the laws of man and the laws of God sided with God.  He was willing to resist and unjust law–even if it costs him his life.

This valentine’s day, I’m praying that my daughters will someday enjoy marriage to godly men, praying for my son that he’ll be a godly husband.  And I’m taking my wife out to celebrate our marriage–a gift to us from God

Thank you Valentinus for taking a stand for God’s first institution among men–marriage.

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10 Comments

Filed under Marriage

10 responses to “Will the real St. Valentine please stand up?

  1. Mimi

    It is good to hear the story of St. Valentine once again as we live in a country where the sanctity of marriage is being challenged everyday. May we all stay strong in our convictions that marriage is God given and to be held in high esteem and valued.

  2. Todd Nado

    Amen! There has not been many extremely radical people in all of history who have tried to go so far as forbid marriage, compared to all of history, that is for sure. That does seem to be something that is so ingrained in us that marraige, if partaken in, is a sacred event and covenant always. We do, thank God, see that even in this nation now, where many recognize, almost out of a God given instinct, because of being made in His image, that for thousands of years and in all cultures legit marriage has been recognized to be between a man and a woman. The relatively few compared to the whole who want to change that “definition,” do try and cause a big stink, but in the end, because such is a kind of no brainer because it is so obvious as to other things are a perversion, that all know as a kind of “instinct” because of being made in the image of God, that they don’t make very good headway for long. If so, we only need to look at history and see where some cultures got really funky about such, such as Rome. Where is the Roman Empire now? It may take awhile, but they will dissappear or be destroyed who engage in such. As for love? Well, we know what Paul says about such in places such as 1 Corinthians 13. Such truly defined “love,” such as that which is in a proper definition of a marriage covenant, are eternal!

  3. Bill Garrett

    Pr. Tim, great story that I had never heard before! What a blessing. Thanks!
    In Him,
    Bill G.

  4. Becky Cwiek

    Tim,
    Thank you for sharing this wondeful story with us. I will be sharing it with my family over a special dinner we will have tonight. My marriage is an awesome gift from God that is cherished and nurtured everyday. For this I am so grateful!
    God Bless,
    Becky Cwiek

  5. Chuck Dean

    Thanks Pastor Tim
    Thank the Lord for Godly Women who He has placed in our lives to Love and Cherish. What a wonderful Valentines Gift He has given to us.

  6. Barbara Smith

    Dear Pastor Tim,
    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story of the importance of marriage according to God. I am thrilled to know it has been written for christian parents to share with their children. For many years I have shared this story with the children in my life–it is dramatized on the old vhs format (I am not sure if it is on dvd or not, but will check to see).
    How very thankful I am that my husband-to-be prayed at age 15 for a christian wife of God’s own choosing and I had the privilege at age 21 to become that woman and wife; God is certainly GOOD!!
    Thank you for sharing this and so many other important concerns for us christians. I would be glad to share the film version with you.