>Have you ever wondered why there is a Valentine’s Day? I thought I would share the Wikipedia article on the origins of Valentine’s Day. As you can see, there is little about “romantic love” that is associated with the founding of the holiday. It is all about Christianity and honoring martyred saints of the Roman Catholic Church. Food for thought.
Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae). Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. His relics are at the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome, and at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.
Valentine of Terni became bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) about AD 197 and is said to have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian. He is also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location than Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni (Basilica di San Valentino).
The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under date of February 14. He was martyred in Africa with a number of companions, but nothing more is known about him.
No romantic elements are present in the original early medieval biographies of either of these martyrs. By the time a Saint Valentine became linked to romance in the fourteenth century, distinctions between Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni were utterly lost.
In the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints, the feastday of Saint Valentine on February 14 was removed from the General Roman Calendar and relegated to particular (local or even national) calendars for the following reason: “Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14.” The feast day is still celebrated in Malta where relics of the saint are claimed to be found, and also throughout the world by Traditionalist Catholics who follow the older, pre-Vatican II calendar.
The Early Medieva acta of either Saint Valentine were excerpted by Bede and briefly expounded in Legenda Aurea. According to that version, St Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed. Before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing the blind daughter of his jailer.
Legenda Aurea still providing no connections whatsoever with sentimental love, appropriate lore has been embroidered in modern times to portray Valentine as a priest who refused an unattested law attributed to Roman Emperor Claudius II, allegedly ordering that young men remain single. The Emperor supposedly did this to grow his army, believing that married men did not make for good soldiers. The priest Valentine, however, secretly performed marriage ceremonies for young men. When Claudius found out about this, he had Valentine arrested and thrown in jail. In an embellishment to The Golden Legend provided by American Greetings, Inc. to History.com and widely repeated, on the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he wrote the first “valentine” himself, addressed to a young girl variously identified as his beloved, as the jailer’s daughter whom he had befriended and healed, or both. It was a note that read “From your Valentine.”
I have taken about a 10 day vacation from writing in the blog, but am back to tell you a little about Dresden First Baptist Church’s 2009 – 2010 Theme. Our theme for the coming year will be: “Maximizing Church Membership”.
Our church is in the midst of working on our plans over the coming weeks for the start of the new church year in September. No matter what our plans are, it will be involving the reclamation of a biblical view of church membership. Also involved will be a focus on Sunday School and starting new Sunday School units. If you, dear reader, are a member of our church, I encourage you to pray and think about Sunday School classes that we currently do not offer that would be good additions to the church program. I do know that the Sunday School Ministry is planning a Singles Class to start the first Sunday of September. Also included in this vision for a new vision is a bold thrust in our church for missions involvement and awareness. I will be working with the pastor to encourage our church to adopt an active, overseas missionary and communicate with that missionary on a regular basis. That way we will be praying for and communicating with an actual missionary. We hope to eventually start local church mission projects and also encourage individual volunteer mission trips. Maybe, in the near future, our church will commission a church member to full time, international missions.
I encourage each member of our church and others to pray for our church in the coming weeks as we plan for the new year. I ask the Lord’s blessings on Dresden First Baptist Church
I will be leading the Wednesday night worship service this Wednesday night (06/17/2009) at Dresden First Baptist Church and am looking forward to the service! I hope that you will pray for this service. I know it is a Wednesday night and many people don’t give it a second thought, but it is our opportunity as a local body of believers to come together and learn of the needs of our congregation and community and lift them up to God – it is a wonderful opportunity for the ministry of intercession!
This is what we are going to do. I would like for us to spend some time in corporate prayer on Wednesday night. We will be praying in the following categories:
This is the A.C.T.S. principle. And I would like for us to go through this prayer principle on Wednesday night. I will talk more about this then, just be thinking about this in your own prayer life.
Also, we will be continuing our study on 1 John tomorrow night. I will be preaching out of 1 John 3:4-10 and the title is “The Child of God and Sin”. Here is the actual text from the English Standard Version:
4. Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil; whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
This is a very important text and one that can be perplexing and troubling for some, but GLORIOUS for those who truly understand what John is talking about here in the passage. I hope to see you tomorrow night!!!