Valentine’s Day and the meaning of true love

Today is Valentine’s Day — the day when TV commercials nag men to buy roses, candy, and jewelry for their wives or girl friends.

But did you know that the day is named after a real person, St. Valentine?

At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of February 14th. But the man for whom Valentine’s Day is named most likely was a priest at Rome who, in the second half of the 3rd century, was arrested and killed by the Emperor Claudius for secretly marrying Christian couples during a time of persecution in the Church. Legend has it that while he was imprisoned and waiting for his martyrdom, he sent letters to his fellow Christians signing them, “From Your Valentine.” (See joandarc’s post, “St. Valentine“)

The popular customs associated with Valentine’s Day probably came from a conventional belief in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February, i.e. half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair. Thus in Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules we read:

For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.

For this reason the day was looked upon as specially consecrated to lovers and as a proper occasion for writing love letters and sending lovers’ tokens. [Source: Catholic Encyclopedia]

So what is love?

I can find no better definition and description of true love than the words of St. Paul:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
It is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered,
it does not brood over injury,

it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

And here’s the true meaning of Valentine’s Day:

God's Valentine to us John 3-16

The Greatest Commandment of all is to love God with your whole heart, your whole mind, your whole soul, and with all your strength; and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.

May the love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today!



7 responses to “Valentine’s Day and the meaning of true love

  1. Hey guys! “Wanna have a real good time this Valentine’s Day? (and you all know what we mean wink wink wink”)
    This must be PC, FOX has been running these ads 24/7 for the last three weeks.


  2. Jesus is truth and love…Happy Valentine’s Day to all, especially to our Lord, Savior, and Redeemer Jesus Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Romantic love is but one manifestation of love. Plenty of people can carry on a romance; It takes the understanding that in marriage, regardless of how good one’s spouse is, that (s)he marries her/his Cross. This is the meaning of the Sacrament.
    I am not marriage material, and at this point, it appears I am too old. (I am 60 and in no position to rear children). Be that as it may, it would seem to me that love, in part, is a movement of the will whereby one lives according to the Golden Rule. If I love someone, I must will what is in his/her best interest, and that means to live according to the truth, to the Golden Rule.
    I am convinced that there can be no love, no friendship, not even any mutual respect without the right kind and degree of fear: Fear of missing the mark, fear of giving offense, fear of imposing a harm and an injury. Not an obsequious or servile fear, but a filial fear.
    I don’t think anyone immersed in the Culture of Death understands this—or wants to. This is precisely why the Church and the World CANNOT be “friends.” This is precisely why the Second Vatican Council and EVERY ONE of its Popes (real or impostured, valid or licit or not) have been grave moral failures, for at the end of each man’s life, Christ Himself will subject his life’s work to the test of fire, whereby all the dross shall be burned off.
    The longer I live, the harder and harder it gets to “straighten up and fly right.”


  4. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this beautiful post on the Feast Day of St. Valentine. I agree that St. Paul gave us the most accurate and appropriate definition of what love is and what it is not. Wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for that reminder of our Lord and Savior. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

    Liked by 2 people

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