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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Little I Love You

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

Notice I added the "Saint" part.  I think we should start doing that again, as a reminder that the day, dedicated to people in love and loving in general and letting people know we love them, isn't about the balloons that express the sentiment.  I haven't heard anyone complain about the "War on St. Valentine", either.  

Try as we may to control the way the human race responds to the stimulus around it, things go awry. St. Valentine's Day is yet another one of those holidays that the Catholic Church brilliantly grabbed and turned holy.  Until the 5th century, people enjoyed  Lupercalia, a fun fest that involved ritual animal sacrifice. The skins of the animals were they taken up by young men in goat who ran through the streets, slapping women with them.  What fun!  It was all about fertility, gods and superstition.

Pope Julius I finally put the kaboosh on that mess, substituting good St. Valentine. (Or, at least, some St. Valentine. We're not sure which one he had in mind.)

And here we are with roses, chocolate roses, little candies with all manner of messages, balloons, diamonds at the bottom of champagne glasses and moms struggling to make sure they have enough little paper valentines for each child in each class of each of her children. Yikes!

It's a lot of pressure.  St. Valentine feels your pain. He was under a lot of pressure, too, what with being a martyr and all.

I do embrace the little winter holiday of pink cupcakes and "I Love You".  As long as the "I love you" part is prominent, there is no down side.


Denita said...

Thank you for this post. Valentine's Day is always difficult for me because of the emphasis on romance. Thanks for putting it in perspective. BTW the St. of the day IS St. Valentine, the martyr.

NoraB said...

Sr. Mary Martha, we heart you!

Roselady said...

Sister, I didn't even have to be reminded to wish everyone a Happy St. Valentine's. See for yourself:


Anonymous said...

Happy Singles Awareness Day.

church supplies said...

Thank you for your uplifting perspective on such a wonderful, loving day! The photos and content really lifted my spirit.

Maggie said...

I've read several places that one of the Saints Valentine (there at least 14, I believe) was martyred for upholding marriage. As the story goes, in about 268 AD the emporer Claudius II outlawed marriage, believing that the reason his army recruitment was down was because men were more interested in staying home with their families. His solution was simply to outlaw marriage.
Well, the Church thought this was a terrible idea and many brave priests continued to marry young couples in secret. Valentine was one of them. He was caught, thrown in prison (where he may or may not have converted his jailer/jailer's daughter?) and martyred on Feb. 14.

So there you go. Martyrdom and marriage, not Angsty Single People Day

Anonymous said...

Anonymous- You can love somebody other than a significant other!

neener said...

Hello Sister!
today at work i overheard someone talking about a "confession app" for what i assume is some kind of portable electronic device.

have you heard of this? what do you think of it? i was shocked and dismayed. you can't go to confession over the internet, and you definitely cant do it just to your phone!!!

modris said...

Hey neener,
The confession app helps you examine your conscience. It has helped a lot of people get back to the sacrament.
Do your homework!

Maggie said...

The app is for use as an examination of conscience before you go to the priest, not intended as a substitute actual sacramental confession.

It has received an imprimatur from a bishop, which is neat.

Fr. Z reviewed it here:

neener said...

I see.

that makes a lot more sense, and after i thought about it later i figured that it's probably a confessional aid. It's all very interesting.

I'm still interested to hear what sister has to say about the whole thing, though!

thanks for the links and info!

The Strawberry Mallard said...

Thank you very much Sister for bringing that point up. I still remember when the calanders in school marked February 14th, as SAINT Valentine's Day ( in the good old days....you know the ones when it was "normal" to pray even in public school!