I understand, more or less, how St. Valentine, whoever he was or which ever one he was, became the patron saint for lovers (and epilepsy, by the way). One St. Valentine wrote love letters for someone, one married people in secret who were not allowed to be married by the state. Christians, namely, were not allowed to marry.
And while all of that is lovely, it has rather turned into a day that makes a lot of people sad, or disappointed, while a lot of other people are wallowing in their true love and chocolate.
We complain all the time about the "War on Christmas" (which starts, if WalMart and Target are any indication, the day after Halloween). All we really mean by that is that Christmas has become too secular, that the birth of Jesus seems to be in the background, somewhere behind the inflatable Santa and the new flat screen TV.
|Yoohooo! St. Valentine? You in there?|
But the same thing has happened to poor St. Valentine. He is lost under the pile of revealing lingerie, 4 foot teddy bears, boxes of chocolate, roses and massage gift certificates. No matter which St. Valentine we pick, we are actually looking at a man who helped people in need, bringing food and comfort to those in prison, for example.
I think we should take back St. Valentine's day, stop eating cake (it IS Lent, after all), and find something worthwhile to do in the name of love. A random act of kindness, a donation to a charity, a helping hand, a voice of comfort. No one will be disappointed.
Happy Saint Valentine's Day. From this old crone.