If you happen to be looking for a way to highlight that St. Valentine’s day IS a saint’s day (even if we don’t know a whole lot about him), Michelle Abernathy has made a coloring page out of her painting of St. Valentine (see on Etsy)!
St. Valentine was a priest or bishop that was martyred around 269 in Rome under the Emperor Claudius. I like how Michelle depicts him as celebrant in a marriage ceremony, highlighting that love and sacrifice go hand in hand.
I appreciate Auntie Leila’s thoughts on celebrating:
“… make it into a real, not just sentimental, occasion of expressing affection to everyone — in family life, just take out the romantic part of it. There’s nothing wrong with sending pretty cards and giving chocolates to those you love best, keeping in mind of course that dear St. Valentine was a martyr for the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and he wants us to contemplate our own mortality with holy fear! But if we think about it for a second, it’s exactly that contemplation that makes it possible for us to express true love to each other, even once a year by means of a frivolous be-ribboned greeting and some treats.”
With that in mind, it seems relevant to pray this prayer for a Blessing on the Families of the Land:
“Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who settest the solitary in families; We commend to thy continual care the homes in which thy people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech thee, every root of bitterness, the desire of vain-glory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh; turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may be evermore kindly affectioned with brotherly love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ”