It’s that time of year again where love is in the air, or at the very least Valentine’s Day is upon us. While it has certainly been turned into another commercial holiday where chocolate, flowers, and expensive jewellery take the forefront, it’s origins are actually much richer and are worth a deeper look.
Valentinus, later known as Saint Valentine, was actually a priest in Rome who cared deeply for other Christians. More specifically, he is credited with having provided encouragement and support to Christians who were being persecuted in Rome. He even shared the gospel with a judge, who after coming to faith, was able to help some Christians escape prison. Since helping Christians was considered a crime, this eventually cost Valentinus his life and he became a martyr for the gospel on February 14th in 269 AD. In many ways, he lived out John 15:13, which says “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
One of the traditions that appear to have started under Valentinus, is that he would send notes of encouragement to Christians who were in jail. These notes have evolved into sending Valentine’s Cards to each other.
This beautiful example from history is why we celebrate Valentine’s Day at Trinity, and encourage students to write kind notes or cards to each other. This exchange takes on such a deeper meaning when we understand that it is less about couples showing each other love and more about the church showing love to brothers and sisters. It also extends to showing love to those who need it most, that we might not consider a friend yet. What a wonderful opportunity we have to show others we care and want to encourage them, especially in times of difficulty where they need God’s love most.
J-D Lussier, Principal