SAINT OF THE DAY: 14 FEBRUARY, 2016

Saint Valentine

Priest and Martyr
(† 268)

Saint Valentine

Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who assisted the martyrs during the persecution under Claudius II.

His great virtue and influence became known, and he was apprehended and brought before the emperor’s tribunal.

Why, Valentine, do you want to be the friend of our enemies and reject our friendship?

The Christian priest replied, My Lord, if you knew the gift of God, you would be happy, and your empire with you; you would reject the cult of your idols and would adore the true God and His Son Jesus Christ.

One of the judges interrupted, asking the martyr what he thought of Jupiter and Mercury.

That they were miserable, and spent all their lives in debauchery and crime!

The judge, furious, cried, He has blasphemed against the gods and against the empire!

The emperor nonetheless continued his questioning with curiosity, pleased to have this opportunity to know what Christians thought.

Valentine had the courage to exhort him to do penance for the blood of Christians which he had shed. Believe in Jesus Christ, be baptized and you will be saved, and already in this life you will insure your empire’s glory and the triumph of your arms.

Claudius began to be convinced, and said to those in attendance, Hear the beautiful doctrine this man is teaching us!

But the prefect of Rome, dissatisfied, cried out, See how this Christian is seducing our prince! Claudius, weakening, abandoned the holy priest to another judge.

This man, named Asterius, had a little girl who had been blind for two years.

Hearing of Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, he asked Valentine if he could convey that light to his child.

Saint Valentine placed his hand on her eyes and prayed: Lord Jesus Christ, true Light, illuminate this blind child!

The child saw, and the Judge with all his family confessed Christ and received Baptism.

The emperor, hearing of this, would have turned his gaze away from these conversions, but fear caused him to betray his sense of justice.

With several other Christians Saint Valentine was tortured and martyred in the year 268.

This illustrious martyr has always been held in great honor in Rome, where there still exists a catacomb named for him.

(SOURCE: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).)

READING OF THE DAY: 14 FEBRUARY, 2016

Luke04a
“Filled with the holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil.

He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”

Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.'”

Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.

The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish.

All this will be yours, if you worship me.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.'”

Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’and: ‘With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'”

Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.'”

When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.” – Luke 4:1-13.