Monday, February 13, 2012

Love & Marriage - Horse & Carriage

Oh St. Valentine..

Historical facts as resourced on Wikipedia (emphasis mine)

Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. His relics are at the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome, and at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.
Valentine of Terni became bishop of Interamna about AD 197 and is said to have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian. He is also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location than Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni.
The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under date of February 14. He was martyred in AFRICA with a number of companions, but nothing more is known about him.
No romantic elements are present in the original early medieval biographies of either of these martyrs. By the time a Saint Valentine became linked to romance in the 14th century, distinctions between Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni were utterly lost.
Saint Valentine's head was preserved in the abbey of New Minster, Winchester and venerated. But there is no evidence that Saint Valentine was a popular saint before Chaucer's poems in 14th century, not even in the area of Winchester.  Saint Valentine's celebration didn't differ from the celebrations of many other saints, and no church was ever dedicated to him.
In the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints, the feast day of Saint Valentine on February 14 was removed from the General Roman Calendar and relegated to particular (local or even national) calendars for the following reason: "Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14." The feast day is still celebrated in Balzan where relics of the saint are claimed to be found, and also throughout the world by Traditionalist Catholics who follow the older, pre-Second Vatican Council calendar. February 14 is also celebrated as St Valentine's Day in other Christian denominations; it has, for example, the rank of 'commemoration' in the calendar of the Church of England and other parts of the Anglican Communion.


The Early Medieval acta of either Saint Valentine were expounded briefly in Legenda Aurea. According to that version, St Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed. Before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing the blind daughter of his jailer.
Since Legenda Aurea still provided no connections whatsoever with sentimental love, appropriate lore has been embroidered in modern times to portray Valentine as a priest who refused an unattested law attributed to Roman Emperor Claudius II, allegedly ordering that young men remain single. The Emperor supposedly did this to grow his army, believing that married men did not make for good soldiers. The priest Valentine, however, secretly performed marriage ceremonies for young men. When Claudius found out about this, he had Valentine arrested and thrown in jail.
There is an additional modern embellishment to The Golden Legend, provided by American Greetings and widely repeated despite having no historical basis whatsoever. On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he would have written the first "valentine" card himself, addressed to the blind daughter of his jailor Asterius, signing as "From your Valentine."

I included that as more interesting than relevant to where I'm going.

I love LOVE. I love being loved by my family and my friends - who doesn't? And as cynical as most people can be about this "hallmark" holiday...I continue to appreciate a day that makes you conciously evaluate your relationships emotionally and mentally. We can choose to be cynics and say everyday you should love those around you not just this day, and I get that, however, I choose LOVE. And still others don't enjoy the holiday because they're single. Cynic or can't deny that this day can make you think about your relationships. 
Our church is currently doing a series on Marriage. Last week Ben and I both could confidently say we are "good." We know each other..and in areas, we have settled in our mind that this is just how its gonna be. But for the last few months we've said we've wanted extraordinary. So we asked God, last Sunday to bring to the surface anything we need to work out, enhance, and deal with. And boy was God faithful. Last week things were brought to our attention! Wow! We're not heading to the courthouse, but rather to God's house. We're not mad and it's not the end of the world. However, we believe God is sharpening us to a higher level of intimacy..because He is taking us to a new season that will require a higher level of faith. God's words to me after church yesterday, in my laundry room of all places - I am your HOPE. I have not revealed these matters in a desire to destroy you but rather to elevate you two. I'm taking you to a deeper level of faith in Me..and by doing that I'm enlarging your capacity of love, respect, faith, hope and trust in your marriage, your friendships, and in your walk with Me. I have overcome, remain in Me. I'm taking you Me. 

"...and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:19

I don't want our marriage to look like anyone elses. We want it 'elevated in Him'... I asked to be enlarged...It takes courage and humility. And as I've felt for many months that I need to fall more and more under my husband's lordship...I... must fall..more. 
Are there any women - who will be honest (heart and soul) and fall with me?

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