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Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Dear God, It's me, Valentine. Can you help me understand how my martyrdom became a day to send cheesy Hallmark cards? Love, Your Valentine

Dear God, It’s me, Valentine. Can you help me understand how my martyrdom became a day to send cheesy Hallmark cards? Love, Your Valentine

On this day once a year when we exchange treakly Hallmark card greetings with our loved ones, it may be salutary to remember here at this intersection between life and God who the original St. Valentine was.

Valentine was a Christian pastor in third-century Rome. When the then Roman emperor Claudius issued an edict prohibiting Christian marriage, Valentine went on performing marriage ceremonies in the church anyway. This display of civil disobedience soon meant Valentine’s own arrest, imprisonment, and torture, followed by a death sentence on February 14, 269 A.D.. Legend has it that Valentine’s last words were to the daughter of an Asterius in the form of a letter that Valentine signed with the words, “from your Valentine.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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