by Cindy Nehrbass
“Tin-foiled” chocolate hearts, and crunchy sugar sweet-tarts with typed messages requesting affection “Be Mine”, “Hug Me” taped to store-bought Dora the Explorer and Pokemon cards (or in my day it was Charlie’s Angels and Scooby Doo)...handwriting three-dozen names of our children’s
classmates—must make sure to include everyone — on your long Valentine-to-do-list. Handmade cards for grandma, lonely friends, your spouse. Flowers, special dinners, phone calls, and hearts everywhere—covering Facebook, and dangling from store ceilings. Each February we dedicate a day to show those around us that we care by asking them to, “Please be our Valentine?” But does God get a special mid-winter “Valentine” from us too? February 14th, was originally a day to honor St. Valentine, a third-century Roman saint commonly associated with “courtly love” who supposedly helped free Christians from prison during times of persecution, by professing his faith through action. Rumor has it that, while St. Valentine was under arrest for trying to convert people to Christianity, the judge asked him to prove the validity of Christ by healing his blind daughter. Faithful Valentine placed his hands on the eyes of a judge’s daughter, and in Christ’s name her sight was restored. This miracle brought the judge to Christianity and he was baptized along with his 44 family members. In gratitude, the judge also freed all of his Christian inmates.
But was Valentine’s Day, ever a Christian holiday? Not really, only in as much as the
Catholic church made special days to honor saints. And in 1969, the Roman Catholic
Church even removed St. Valentine from the General Roman Calendar, because so
little is really known about him. However, the church still recognizes him as a saint, listing him in the February 14th spot of Roman Martyrology.
So what if next year we were to make St. Valentine’s day a special day to express our own faith in Christ —like Valentine out loud to others and in our actions — so they might hear the good news and be freed from their own personal prisons and bondage from sin and fear? What if we were to declare our true love and ultimate “Valentine” be Christ, by performing acts of kindness on His behalf? Saying, “Christ, please be mine.” Because Christ has already responded, “I am yours.” His life, and ultimate death on the cross, the biggest expressions of love to us all.