Celibate Monks Celebrate Valentine’s Day
There were two saints by the name St Valentine, and both were celibate monks. One of them was a catholic priest who lived in Rome in the second half of the third century. He preached the message of love of God with such enthusiasm despite much opposition. He was captured, he was tortured and he was killed. He thus became one of the great martyrs of the Catholic Church. And the second St Valentine was a bishop in the Catholic Church. He was also captured, tortured and killed because he wouldn’t give up teaching devotion to God. The day both these saints were killed happens to be February 14th.
In England and France February 14th happens to be the beginning of spring—the inauguration of the mating season for the birds and the beasts. The romantics seeing the affairs of the birds decided to consecrate this day as the day of showing one’s passionate love. And since it happened to be the day on which St Valentine was murdered, it came to be known as St Valentine’s Day.
For us celibate monks, St Valentine’s Day is all about following in the footsteps of St Valentine—giving up everything, being willing to undergo torture and killing in the service of the Lord. And for the romantics, it is all about following in the footsteps of the passionate birds.