Tomorrow is St.Valentines day.
When I was a child every Valentines Day my father would bring home a large card and giant box of chocolates for my mother,he would give her these gifts a big hug and kiss.This was one of my fathers favorite days to show how much he loved us all.
Many people see this day as a time to show our love for our special friends and family.But few people know how this day started.
In the 3rd century an oppressive roman emperor, Claudius 11, ordered all Romans to worship his twelve gods making it a crime punishable by death to associate with Christians.But a christian named Valentinus was so dedicated to the ideals of Christ,that not even the threat of death could keep him from practicing his beliefs. For this he was arrested and imprisoned.
During the last weeks of his life a jailer,seeing that Valentinus was a learned man,
asked him if he would give his blind daughter,Julia, lessons for she was young and had a quick mind.
Valentinus read her stories of Rome's history,taught her arithmetic and told her about his God.By his stories she was able to see the world through his eyes.She trusted his wisdom and found great strength through him.
One day she asked him "Does God really hear our prayers"."yes" he answered,"He hears each one".Julia went on to tell him that every morning and every night she prayed to see everything that he had told her about.He said that "God does what is best for us if we will only believe in him" Julia told him that she did believe, knelt down and grasped his hand.They sat quietly together praying when a brilliant light shone in the prison cell."Valentinus,I can see!" she cried out "I can see!"."Praise be to God he said" and knelt down in prayer.
On the eve of his death Valentinus wrote a note for Julia,urging her to stay close to God and he signed it "From Your Valentine" he was executed the next day,February 14,270 A.D., near a gate that was later named Porta Valentini in his memory.He is buried at what is now called the Church of Praxedes in Rome.It is said the Julia herself planted a pink blossomed almond tree near the gate.Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship.
On February 14,2006.This special day, my dear father passed away.What he passed on to me was the example of showing and telling the people you love that they are special and will always be close to you in your heart.Take a minute tomorrow and wish some one near and dear to you a Happy Valentines Day help them to know how blessed you are to have them in your life.