Valentine of Rome
Feast Day: February 14
Valentine was a priest in the early Church. He was also a doctor. He helped people when they were sick, and he taught his Christian community in Rome how to follow Jesus. His example of always acting with love inspired many people to join the Church.
It was dangerous to be a follower of Christ in the early Church. Christians were persecuted for their faith. They were hunted down and kept in jail until they were put to death. Because Valentine was such a well known leader of the Christian community, it was not surprising that he was arrested.
Valentine did not let being a prisoner stop him from living his faith. It is said that one of the jail guards brought his sick daughter to him and that Valentine healed her in God’s name. Valentine also wrote letters of encouragement to the other Christian prisoners and to the members of his community. He wrote about Jesus’ love and reminded everyone to stay strong in their faith. This is how the tradition of sending valentines to the people we love began.
He was executed around the years 269-273 and is the patron of engaged couples, of happy marriages and of love.
We honor St. Valentine on February 14. On Valentine’s Day, thank God for the gift of Jesus and for all the people who help us grow in our love for the Lord.