While many of us enjoy the chocolates, flowers and romance in celebration of the patron Saint Valentine, have you ever wondered how Valentine’s day started and who is Saint Valentine?
By most accounts, Saint Valentine was a Roman priest and physician who suffered martyrdom during the persecution of Christians by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus about 270 AD. He prayed for the sick to be made well. Saint Valentine is said to have restored the sight of his jailer’s young daughter, Julia. It is noted that Saint Valentine wrote a love letter to the jailer’s daughter and signed it, your Valentine.
Is There More to Saint Valentine?
Saint Valentine, the patron saint of love, is also known as the patron saint of epilepsy and beekeepers. From the high middle ages, his Saints’ Day has been associated with a tradition of courtly love. It would seem that his most celebrated character trait is remembered on Valentine’s day…that of love. Specifically, the love of affianced couples, engaged couples, happy marriages, love in general, and lovers.
Love is a powerful emotion that can drive the highest calling in people, and St. Valentine is an example of a love-driven life. Therefore, Valentine’s Day is devoted to love exemplified by St. Valentine.
Types of Love
The author C.S. Lewis of the children’s series “The Chronicles of Narnia” defines four types of love derived from these Greek terms:
- Agape is the highest form of love unconditional and all encompassing, the love of God
- Eros is romantic loving, a bond common to the celebration Valentine’s Day
- Storge is affection and familial love, such as the deep bond for a child
- Philia represents the love of friends and intertwined relationships
“Agape is all giving, not getting….Giving money is only one way of showing charity; to give time and toil is far better and (for most of us) harder.” (C.S. Lewis)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).”
Reflections: A Mother’s Anguished Love Over Her Sick Child
Gazing upon her child as they lay in a hospital bed receiving cancer treatment.
A feeling of Helplessness.
In my arms, your eyes plead, beckoning me to relieve the suffering.
- “Can you help me?”
- “Can you make it go away?”
- “What did I do wrong?”
“I send forth my pure love to you, true and steadfast, feel it my child let it flow through you feel the warmth of the loving light I send you.”
“My love for you is boundless! Know my child, beyond a shadow of a doubt, my love for you is unconditional, forever ceaseless.”
Who Can Help Us?
As a parent who experienced the suffering of her child through cancer treatment, Katie Quintas was called to extend her love for others and help. She created Here to Serve, a nonprofit dedicated to mobilizing the love and help of many. The support provided by Here to Serve allows parents precious time to love and support their child during their cancer struggle.
Love for others and the desire to relieve suffering is what drives Here Serve to provide support systems for families. If you know of a family with a child suffering from the challenges of cancer, please let us know, or if you are inspired to help children get the loving support they deserve, please click this link.
By Amanda Enciso