On February 14th people all over the world celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day. Tokens of love will be exchanged between spouses, friends, parents and children, etc. Who was Saint Valentine and how did all of this “hearts and flowers” stuff get started?
Valentine was listed on some 5th-century church documents as an early martyr for the Christian faith. Several hagiographies (biographies of saints) of Valentine were written although all are now considered spurious.
Because of the lack of any reliable information regarding Valentine his feast day was dropped from the General Roman Calendar in 1969 although he is still on the church’s list of saints.
How did Valentine become connected with love and romance? That’s not altogether clear either. Some scholars attribute Valentine’s Day’s initial link to romance to 14th-century English poet, Geoffrey Chaucer.
The word, “saints,” can be found many times in the Bible but the contextual meaning is entirely different from that of Catholic tradition. The Catholic church teaches saints are those persons it officially canonizes (recognizes) for achieving an exceptional degree of holiness in their lifetime and for meriting Heaven. Saints can be venerated and prayed to and are said to act as intercessors between supplicants and God.
In contrast, the Bible speaks of “saints” as those who are set apart (the Greek “ἅγιος” or “hagios”); all those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Saints are NOT spiritual superstars but sinners saved by grace. In his epistles to local churches, Paul sends his greetings, encouragements, and admonitions to “all the saints,” all those who are in Christ Jesus. Christians pray directly to the Lord, no other heavenly intercessors are needed or are even possible. There isn’t one single example in the Bible of any believer praying to anyone other than God.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 14:6
“Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.” – Philippians 4:21-22
Yes, I’m so grateful to the Lord for the love of my wife, children, grandchildren, family, and friends. Most of all, I’m grateful for the love of my Savior, Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for all my sins. Now that’s LOVE! No one can merit their way to Heaven. Accept the free gift of eternal life and fellowship with God by accepting Jesus as your Savior!