The True Meaning of Saint Valentine’s Day


The True Meaning of Saint Valentine’s Day / Lecture #09

While there are many legends about St. Valentine, church history says he was a early priest martyred during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius on February 14, 269 A.D.   He was executed for refusing to deny Christ.   History has it that before his head was cut off he restored the sight of his jailer’s daughter.

One possibility of the association between love on Valentine’s Day is that St. Valentine gave his life to minister to both the faithful and the pagans of Rome during a very trying time for early Christians-the Roman persecution. Some say he gave out pieces of cloth shaped like red hearts to people he encountered.

How this day became associated with “romantic love,” however, is not all that clear.  Today the love of a priest for Christ and for his fellow man, even his Roman persecutors, has little to do with the modern day celebration.  Valentines Day has become a cultural and all together commercial enterprise.  In 2017, total sales for Valentines Day exceeded $18.2 billion dollars.

While there is nothing wrong with buying flowers and candy on February 14th, the patron saint of lovers had much more than romantic love on his mind.

Love is the mainstay of Christianity:  

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so all who believes in him may have eternal life.”

(Jn 3:16)

Love of God, love of our fellow man and even love of our enemies.  While romance has its place, Christian Love should be celebrated and practiced everyday of the year.

God is love.  Charity which flows from love is the first principle of our order, the Knights of Columbus.  Our love of God is expressed in the unrequited work we do for our church and our neighbors.

Faith, Hope,Charity, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude, and Prudence grow where there’s evidence of God’s presence.  The search for romantic love without God is an illusion; or at best, not long lasting.

Love is an excellent thing.  Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing more pleasant, and nothing more satisfying.  Love is born of God and cannot be fully complete except in God.  Love knows no limit, feels no burdens, fears no trouble, and love is watchful and does not sleep.  As St. Paul says:

“Love is patience, love is kind.  It is not jealous, 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, it does not rejoice over wrong doing but rejoices with the truth.  It bears all things, hopes in all things, endures all things.”

(1Corinthians 13: 4-7)


SK Wendell JeanPierre, Lecturer