While elusive in evidence, legends exist regarding Valentine.
A link to part of my morning devotional today: http://commonprayer.net/
Some folklore purports that he was a third century martyr beheaded for his defense of the Christian faith. Apparently, Valentine tried converting the Emperor and as such, was killed.
Other sources state that Pope Gelasius 1st was trying to Christianize the pagan festival of Lupercalia.
Whatever truth lies in the legend, it is interesting that Valentine’s Day, at least the American “love” holiday, falls on Ash Wednesday this year. Ash Wednesday is typically commemorated by depositing ashes on one’s forehead to symbolize a spirit of repentance on behalf of a believer. In the Testaments, we witness several individuals mourning sin through tearing of clothing articles and distributing ashes on the body.
(Job 42:6, Lam. 2:10, Neh. 9:1, Matt. 11:21, Dan. 9:3)
When a heart is motivated to true grievance regarding sin, it will be pardoned by Christ’s immeasurable love and sacrifice witnessed through his ransom on the cross.
(Jn. 15:13-15–> We must obey Christ in order to call him friend. There is no greater love than Christ laying down his life for his friends.
Acts 3:19, Acts 2:38, Acts 17:30, 2Chron. 7:14, 1 Jn. 1:9, Matt. 3:8, Rev. 2:5, Lk. 5:32, Rev. 3:19, Prov. 28:13, Lk. 24:47, Lk. 3:8…and the list continues: https://www.openbible.info/topics/repentance)
Lk. 13:3–> If we do not repent, we will perish.
Whether the legend of this patron saint is true or not, it is common church history acceptance that Valentine loved others. Valentine was even t willing to be martyred for Christian proclamation! The ultimate expression of Christian love is, clearly, to lay aside your life for Christ. Selfishness burns and out of the ashes of this greed, God restores the human soul. It is in denying self-love, repenting of our flesh nature, and boldly proclaiming our love for Christ, regardless of the opposition we might face, that we find the gateway to eternal life, Jesus Christ himself.
May this Lenten season be one of reflection on the miracles of God, putting aside our pride (in my case, checking Facebook repeatedly throughout the day), and resting in the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ’s cross-sacrifice and resurrection.