The blog of the Vocations Director of the Anglo Irish Province of the Presentation Brothers.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Wednesday, February 14th, is of course St Valentine's Day, a day when we talk about love more than usual. A lot of the discussion you hear today will be light-hearted and fun.
But who was St Valentine? There are some conflicting accounts but we know he existed and his remains have been identified in the catacombs of Rome. This feast day has been celebrated for 15 centuries!
Three things you need to know: 1. He was a Catholic priest. 2. He was arrestedfor tending to the needs of the persecuted Christians of Rome. 3. He was executedfor refusing to renounce the Catholic faith during the persecution of Roman Emperor Claudius.
For men and women discerning a vocation, then there is an obvious resonance here.
For a start St Valentine answered the call to serve by embracing a religious vocation. Secondly, he served those in need and risked his own life to do so. Finally, he refused to deny his faith and has since been remembered as an icon of love.
It's ironic that at a time when celibacy and chaste love are dismissed, the day on which the world celebrates love is in fact a day in honour of a priest who died for his faith!
(Take time to read this beautiful reflection below)
Fall in Love Attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907–1991)
Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in Love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.