I received an email this morning that said, “Today, love yourself first.” This actually made me a little sad. That just doesn’t seem right.
I am one of those who gush at the ideas of love, chocolates, flowers, and jewelry on Valentine’s Day. But that would be the cultural ideas of what is actually a beautifully theological day that can truly change marriages!
St. Valentine was a Roman priest who performed marriages against the ruling of Claudius II’s law prohibiting marriage. The emperor had the opinion that marriage was distracting his soldiers. Imagine that! Newly-weds being distracted. St. Valentine, wanting to give those who wanted to marry the Sacrament of Matrimony, went against the edict and offered couples the grace of the Sacrament. Sadly, St. Valentine was martyred defending the Christians.
This is the very lesson we can all take from St. Valentine. One of the purposes of marriage is to get your spouse to Heaven. (CCC 1601, CIC 1055). Like St. Valentine, that often times means dying to self for the good of your spouse, sharing the love of God with the person whom you love most on earth. An interesting fact, red is both the color of martyrdom and the color most used on St. Valentine’s day.
Today, share the love of St. Valentine with your spouse by loving him/her first, before anyone else.
Also, you can say this beautiful prayer for your spouse:
“Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who celebrate the heavenly birthday of blessed St. Valentine, Thy Martyr, may by his intercession be delivered from all the evils that threaten us. Through our Lord.” (Collect of the Mass of St. Valentine)
HAPPY SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY! Benedicite!