We haven’t had post for the few days so I wont be getting any Valentine cards!!!! I wont hold my breathe. There seems to be no connection between the custom of sending cards on 14th February and St Valentine. This connection seems to have arisen in medieval times with the belief that birds began to pair at this time. Thus men and women would seek partners at this time and send cards, asking the protection of St Valentine. All we know about Valentine was he was a priest who was martyred under the persecution of Claudius the Goth in 269. Since the revision of the Calendar in 1969 the 14th February is now the Feast of St Cyril and Methodius who are patron of Europe along with St Benedict.
Here in Canterbury the window display at Fenwicks Department Stores just has the word LOVE covering their window completed. “Choose Love” and “Love is all we need” is the message. But what is love? The writer C.S.Lewis wrote a book “The Four Loves” which I found very helpful. He talks about love under four categories based on four Greek words for love: affection, friendship, eros and charity.
The evangelist and apostle John ended his days on Mount Patmos where is wrote his Book of Revelation. It is said that towards the end of his life at every celebration of the Eucharist, he would deliver the same homily again and again. He would get up and look at those present and simply say: “My dear little children, let us love one another.” I think that he did this because it is easy to say but hard to do. While tomorrow many people will be expressing their romantic feeling towards one another, let us all pray we pray that we may grow in love for one another which is consistently willing and choosing the good of the other. Easy to say but only with God’s grace will we be able to live this life of love.