Monday, February 13, 2017

How do YOU take back St. Valentine’s Day?

By Tonia Long

No sooner have the Christmas decorations been taken down than we are surrounded by pink hearts and red roses – St. Valentine’s Day is upon us. Labeled a “Hallmark holiday,” the feast named after a martyr of the Church has lost much of its true meaning.
Holy Mother Church has instituted these special days for our edification and sanctification. They are part of our Catholic heritage and are being stripped of their meaning – especially for our younger generation.
And what I propose is this: Let’s take back our Catholic holidays!
It can be as simple as what my mother used to do. You can do it too, for your family and friends.
Take St. Valentine’s Day, for example.
What I looked forward to the most was the candy – what child wouldn’t?!? My mom would hide chocolate hearts all around our living room. Each heart had a Scripture quote taped to it. We would have sooo much fun searching for our candy! Then, using much restraint, we would read out our Scripture quote (which always had something to do with God’s love for us) before eating the chocolate.
Lessons learned:
**Good things come to those who search for them.
**If you are looking for love, you will find it in the Holy Scriptures.
After the excitement, Mom would settle us down for story time (no small task!). It was the same story every time, but it never got old. By the end of it, we knew just whose feast day it was and why! He was our Super Hero!
And last, but not least, came the Valentine cards. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and neighbors looked forward to these homemade gems every year. By the time we finished making them, there was paper, glue, glitter and holy cards everywhere!

So, how do YOU take back St. Valentine’s Day?

It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3:
1.Share the Holy Scriptures: There’s a lot of love in there!
2.Tell a short story about St. Valentine. (see below)
3.Click on the link or any of the cards you see below and spread TRUE LOVE – No true love is sustained without the help of grace. 
This is your Catholic Faith – your children’s heritage! Don’t let it become just another “Hallmark holiday.”

Click here to print these cards(Instructions are included)



Saint Valentine, priest and martyr, lived nearly 1,700 years ago in pagan Rome.
Father Valentine answered God’s call to the priesthood at a time when it wasn’t easy to be a Catholic, and it was downright dangerous to be a priest or bishop.
The infant Catholic Church was being brutally persecuted by Emperor Claudius II. But that didn’t scare young Valentine! He knew that the Christian Faith was the only remedy for the sick and permissive society in which he lived. Especially when it came to Her teachings about the relationship that should exist between a man and a woman as husband and wife.
Polygamy was the norm in pagan Rome. And to make matters worse, the Emperor issued an edict that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to their wives or families if they died in battle.
Saint Valentine took that edict as a challenge. He made it his own personal mission to share the Catholic vision of marriage and the graces of the Sacrament with all those who would listen. And he would go one step further; he would secretly marry as many couples as he could.
Father Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against the edict of Emperor Claudius II. But even while in prison, Father Valentine found ways to carry on his mission.
One of the men who was to judge him was a man called Asterius, whose daughter was blind. Saint Valentine prayed with her and healed the young girl with such charity and compassion that Asterius himself became a Christian as a result.
In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to execution all because of his stand for Christian marriage. The last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius' daughter. He inspired today's romantic missives by signing it, "from your Valentine."
So what does it REALLY mean to be a “Valentine”? Simply this: that there comes a time when you have to lay your life on the line for what you believe. And with the power of the Holy Spirit we can do that – just like Saint Valentine.


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