14 February 2011

Feast of St. Valentine, and a Busy Blogging Day

Happy feast day of St. Valentine, priest and martyr, to all of you. I get a kick out of the new calendar on many days, but this is definitely one of them. One of the great traits of the Church is her ability to sanctify and elevate the merely pagan or secular "holiday". In history, this usually takes place in the changing of a pagan feast day to a Catholic one, such as on Christmas or Easter, when a feast of the Son of God occurs to eclipse a previously pagan observance.

St. Valentine's Day marks the opposite process. A Catholic feast day for nearly two millenia, celebrating the Charity of Christ as it shone forth in the life and martyrdom of an early Roman priest, it became co-opted to some extent by secular notions of romantic love (at best) or lust (at worst).

For some reason, those architects of the new Calendar of the Church decided to cede the field, eliminating the feast of St. Valentine so that the chance of most people, and perhaps even most Catholics, to know the origins and purpose of the day would be minimal. Great idea. So, most Catholics wake up today and, if they go to Mass, celebrate the Feast of the very worthy Saints Cyril and Methodius, whose feast day on the traditional Calendar is July 7.

Whatever the case, may the Charity of St. Valentine animate all of our actions and thoughts, to serve the Lord Who deserves all our love.


As an aside, Valentine's Day started with a bang for Sharon and me. There may be more romantic ways to mark the occasion, but perhaps nothing gives an example of St. Valentine's charity than spending the hours of 2 to 4 am cleaning up vomit from the person of a toddler, her clothes, bed, pillow, bedclothes, wall, door and floor.

And then doing it all again twenty minutes later.

That really brought us together, I tell you.


As the title of the post indicates, there is much to post today, so stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Happy SAINT Valentine's Day. Yes, the Church's dropping the feast and Hallmark hanging on to it, is rather ironic.

As for the sick little one, I hope she's better. And, yes, that's what love and marriage are all about, after all.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, we called that, "just another day in paradise!" : )

Sharon said...


Just thought you might like to know that your little angel appears to be feeling better and is busy raiding any candy she finds at her eye level.

Happy Valentine's Day. I know your day HAS to be better already!

Anonymous said...

Your comments on the calendar are interesting. While it is true that some of the changes in the liturgical calendar are a bit odd, the secularization of the Feast of Saint Valentine is almost solely an American phenomenon. The liturgical reform that was proposed was proposed for the universal Church and, therefore, your comments make little sense outside the United States. Most European countries, for example, do not celebrate Valentine's Day the way we do in the United States. Moreover, those who do celebrate it only trying to imitate the American phenomenon.

Kansas Catholic said...

I was going to say that you guys have worse than us as we deal with RSV on top of colic, but it sounds like the candy has healed your sick one.

Patricia said...

Valentine's Day Order: I believe it was Iran who decreed this year that no one could send a valentine card or candy or flowers. So sad......and hurtful. The people of Iran could do what JPII did when he was a cleric in Poland.

The Communists forbade the Catholics to parade the streets with the image of the Black Madonna. The parade was in her honor, of course. So they made the parade anyway....they removed the image and paraded with the frame alone! After so many years parading with the image, everyone knew what it looked like and knew what the parade was for. So, everyone was happy, communists and Catholics, alike.

This is a very crazy world! So my suggestion is when this order comes again, the Iranians should just send a blank card in an envelope to their loved ones...everyone will know what the blank card is for.....passing on love to their family and friends.

Patricia in St. Louis, MO