It is said, that Valentinus, as he was known before he became St.Valentine, was canonised for giving help to Christians, including marrying them, when this was a crime.
“He was arrested and imprisoned upon being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius in Rome… Claudius took a liking to this prisoner – until Valentinus tried to convert the Emperor – whereupon this priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stones; when that failed to kill him, he was beheaded on February 14th outside the Flaminian Gate, North of Rome.” Wikipedia
What not many people know that St.Valentine’s remains are in Dublin, in Whitefriar Church in Aungier Street, not far from St.Stephen’s Green. The remains of St. Valentine and “a small vessel tinged with his blood.” were a gift from Pope Gregory XVI to a famous Irish priest and preacher, Fr. John Spratt in 1836.
And, so it was that I also met my Valentine in Dublin in 1999, a long time removed from the third century and killing of christians. Martin and I were fortunate to be living in a time and a country more concerned with attaining peace and love. We spent a lot of our energy together achieving that through Irish music and dance in Ireland – doing classes, going to festivals “down the country, connecting with people and the craic.
And we’ve continued striving for that here in Australia. And that’s what I’m hoping for everyone today and every day- peace and love to all.
Happy St.Valentine’s Day.