Saturday, February 14, 2009

The real Valentine

Along with sending flowers and chocolates and cute Hallmark cards to our sweethearts today, we also commemorate one of the Church's martyrs.

There is some disagreement about who the real Valentine was as you can see at the Wikipedia entry. However, here's how he is described on the LCMS Commission on Worship webpage:

A physician and priest living in Rome during the rule of the Emperor Claudius, Valentine become one of the noted martyrs of the third century. The commemoration of his death, which occurred in the year 270, became part of the calendar of remembrance in the early church of the West. Tradition suggests that on the day of his execution for his Christian faith, he left a note of encouragement for a child of his jailer written on an irregularly-shaped piece of paper. This greeting became a pattern for millions of written expressions of love and caring that now are the highlight of Valentine's Day in many nations. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book LCMS Commission on Worship]

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