. . . the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13:13)
HERE IS THE HISTORY OF VALENTINE’S DAY AS WE KNOW IT:
Valentine’s Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II, Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular military campaigns. Claudius the Cruel, as he was known at the time, was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed that the reason was that Roman men did not want to leave their loves or families. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome.
This was when a Christian priest named Valentine came to defend love in the empire. Valentine began to secretly marry couples despite the emperor’s orders. When Claudius was informed of these ceremonies Valentine was sent to prison where he remained until his death on February 14 in the year 270.
It wasn't until a few hundred years later when Valentine's Day began to develop, as we know it. At the time Christianity was beginning to take control of Europe. As part of this effort the Church sought to do away with pagan holidays. Valentine's Day came to replace a mid-February fertility festival called Lupercalia. In honor of his sacrifice for love Valentine was made a saint and Lupercalia renamed in his honor.
BUT HERE’S A GREATER STORY OF LOVE THAT GOES BACK EVEN FARTHER . . . the real Valentine’s Day!
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
NOW WE CAN LOVE GOD BASED UPON WHAT JESUS DID FOR US ON THE CROSS:
We love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
AND NOW WE CAN TRULY LOVE ONE ANOTHER:
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you . . . (John 13:34)
Brethren . . . let us love one another!