We Americans observe an unofficial holiday called Valentine’s Day. It is a day for gift giving to a special someone in your life. This day is named after St. Valentine. But St. Valentine has never been recognized by the Episcopal Church. This is because there is some doubt about his existence.
St. Valentine is known as a martyr. Actually there are two obscure stories about two different St. Valentines. One was in Rome. When he healed and converted the daughter of a Roman magistrate, he was beheaded. The other was a bishop of Terni in Italy. He went to Rome to cure the son of a philosopher. The bishop would cure the son only if the philosopher’s family converted to Christianity. They did and the bishop did. When the prefect heard about it, the bishop was beheaded.
In the Middle Ages, it was believed that birds paired up on February 14th. That began the custom of sending valentines.
Regardless the vague reference to a historical St. Valentine, the saint’s day is, by custom, a day for lovers. Some time ago, there began a movement to observe Marriage Week around February 14th.
For the third year in a row, the El Dorado Healthy Marriages Coalition, www.edhealthymarriages.org, will observe marriage Week with two events. The first will be a couples’ dance at Green Valley Community Church on Friday, February 13th. There will be food, dancing, and prizes. Tickets are available at Green Valley Community Church.
The second event is the renewal of wedding vows at Our Saviour. This will take place at 6:30 PM. Following the service there will cake and coffee. This is available to all couples.
We will continue to run relationship education classes at Our Saviour. In addition, there are always classes at other sites. These classes are found at the El Dorado Healthy Marriages Coalition web site.
Every couple can benefit and can improve their marriage by attending at least one marriage education class per year.
The special things we do for our loved ones for Valentine’s Day can and should be done throughout the year.