The CAPG's Blog
Feb. 14: Saint Valentine, Priest and Martyr
St. Valentine was a Roman priest who lived and labored among the poor Christians amid the cruel persecutions of the earl Church. He was highly respected and venerated for his zeal and piety in the service of the Lord. During the renewed persecution of the emperor Claudius, Valentine was seized and brought before the tribunal of a judge named Asterius, to be tried and condemned to death. Mindful of the words of the Savior "Do good to those who persecute you." he prayed that the good Lord might restore the sight of the blind daughter of his very judge. The Lord heard his prayer and miraculously gave the girl her sight. This miracle and the charity which prompted it so affected Asterius that he embraced the faith of St. Valentine. Forty-two other witnesses of the miracle followed his example. The news of this miracle and the conversion soon reached Claudius, who in his rage sent a body of soldiers to the house of Asterius where all were taken prisoners. They were led to Ostia and killed for their faith. St. Valentine was beaten with clubs and finally beheaded on the Flaminian way, February 14, 270 A.D. His remains were reverently gathered by Christians and brought to Rome. They now rest in the church of St. Praxedes.
It was the generous, noble, and heroic charity of St. Valentine which brought so many of his enemies into the fold of the loving Savior. Charity to our fellowmen will also win many of the enemies of our church to the Lord if we follow in the footsteps of St. Valentine.
Valentine appears to have been a very popular name among the early Christians, if we may judge from the number of saints who bear that name. The feast days of several of the other Saints Valentine are Feb. 14, St. Valentine, Bishop of Terni and martyr, another martyr of that name in Africa; a bishop and confessor, Oct 29, a priest and martyr Nov.3; an officer Dec. 16.
The custom of sending tokens of love on his feast has no bearing on the life of St. Valentine. About thirty years ago it was thought that the custom was dying out. Since then it has been commercialized and this fact no doubt has given it a semblance of popularity.
Source: Our Young People, 1916