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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The story behind Valentine’s Day?

The story behind Valentine’s Day?
There is a lot of debate and disagreement among scholars about the origins of Valentine’s Day. We’ll probably never be able to sort out all of the cultural and religious threads in order to reconstruct a complete and coherent story. The origins of Valentine’s Day lie too far in the past to be sure about everything. Despite this, there are a number of assumptions we can make which are reasonably sound. According to tradition, on this day, February 14, 269, a young man named Valentine was executed in Rome for his faith. Hence Valentine's Day was first established by Pope Gelasius in 496 AD, and was later deleted from the church calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul V1. To gain a better understanding of the religious background of Valentine’s Day, we have to dig deeper.
According to one story, Roman emperor Claudius II imposed a ban on marriages because too many young men were escaping the draft by getting married (only single men had to enter the army). St Valentine’s ignored the ban and performed secret marriages. He was caught, of course, which meant that he was imprisoned and sentenced to death. While awaiting execution, young lovers visited him with notes about how much better love is than war — the first “valentines.”

I happened to read another story about St. Valentine that really caught my attention and I want to pass it on to my readers. St. Valentine was a priest near Rome in about the year 270 A.D. At that time the Roman Emperor was imprisoning Christians for not worshipping the Roman gods. During this persecution Valentine was arrested. Some write that he was arrested because he was performing Christian marriages, but others say it was for helping Christians escape prison. During the trial they asked Valentine what he thought of the Roman gods Jupiter and Mercury. Valentine said they were false gods and that the God that Jesus called Father was the only true God. So the Romans threw him in prison for insulting the gods.

While in prison Valentine continued to share the love of Jesus to everyone in prison. Even He witnessed to the guards. One of the guards was a good man who had adopted a blind girl. He asked Valentine if his God could help his daughter. Valentine prayed and the girl was given her sight. The guard and his whole family, 46 people, believed in Jesus and were baptized. Because these people had come to know Jesus, Valentine praised God right there in his prison cell. When the emperor heard about this he was furious that Valentine was still making converts even in prison, so he had Valentine beheaded.

Valentine knew that he might get caught in his activities. He knew that if he told the court the truth about the Roman gods that he would be thrown in prison. And he knew that if he continued to witness to Christ in the prison he would make his captors angry. But he continued, because he loved the Lord Jesus more than his life and his fellow humans. He was willing to risk his life to free the prisoners and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to those who needed to hear it.

 Bible Says: "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends."(John 15:13) God showed us this love by coming in Christ to die for our sins. This is the kind of love that Valentine's Day is really about. God is love and the source of true love. God loved us enough to die for us.

The love of Christ in its sweetness, its fullness, its greatness, its faithfulness, passes all human comprehension. His matchless and unparalleled love towards us is so vast and boundless and its depths immeasurable. Love of Christ is indeed measureless and fathomless; none can attain unto it. Before we can have any right idea of the love of Jesus, we must understand his previous glory in its height of majesty, and his incarnation upon the earth in all its depths of shame. But who describe the majesty of Christ?

When he was enthroned in the highest heavens he was very God of very God; by him were the heavens made, and all the hosts thereof. His own almighty arm upheld the spheres; the praises of cherubim and seraphim perpetually surrounded him; the full chorus of the hallelujahs of the universe unceasingly flowed to the foot of his throne: He reign supreme above all his creatures, God over all, blessed forever. Who can tell his height of glory then? And who, on the other hand, can tell how low he descended?

To be a man was something, to be a man of sorrows was far more; to bleed, and die, and suffer, these were much for him who was the Son of God; but to suffer such unparalleled agony--to endure a death of shame and desertion by his Father, this is a depth of condescending love which the most inspired mind must utterly fail to fathom. This is the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.(John 3:16)For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Let this Agape Love fill our hearts with adoring gratitude, and lead us to practical manifestations of its power.

John, the apostle of love, tells us in his first epistle by way of a warning: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." (1 John 2:15 -16).

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