For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
He was a small-town priest who loved to share the Gospel. He traveled around telling the Good News about Jesus. But before you think of this as merely ordinary, know that he did this during a time of great danger and persecution for all Christians.
It was the 3rd Century and Valentine the priest traveled throughout the Italian peninsula proclaiming the love of Christ.
He was arrested in the capital city and put under house arrest by the convicting judge Asterius.
But such was the courage of Valentine and his love in sharing the Gospel that Asterius allowed for discussions of the faith to be had.
These discussions eventually came down to the power of faith and the miracles of Jesus. Asterius’ beloved daughter was blind. He told Valentine that if he could heal her, he would grant any request to him.
Valentine prayed, laid his hands on the girl’s head, and her sight was restored!
Asterius would keep his word. Valentine’s request was that all idols in the judge’s house be destroyed and that the judge himself would be baptized.
Asterius did so. He and his entire household was baptized! Asterius also released all his Christian prisoners, including Valentine.
But Valentine was arrested again and this time found himself being charged personally by the Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus, or Claudius II.
Again, Valentine’s courage and love captivated Claudius who allowed Valentine to live.
That is, until Valentine urged Claudius himself to renounce all idols and profess faith in Jesus Christ.
Claudius refused and condemned Valentine to death unless Valentine renounced his faith.
He would not and so the sentence was given. Valentine would be beaten with clubs and the beheaded.
Before the execution could be carried out on February 14th, Valentine was allowed to send a note to Asterius’ and his healed daughter, no doubt encouraging them to keep the faith and not lose heart.
Now, is this a true story? Who knows. Apparently, there was a man, or several men, by the name of Valentine in 2nd and 3rd Century Rome that was a Christian and suffered martyrdom.
But we just don’t have any evidence that any of the rest of the story is actually true. But the story has been told – in slightly variant forms – since the 5th Century.
Over 1800 years later, we still remember the date – February 14 and the name – St. Valentine.
Let us not forget that this day of love, cards, flowers, and perhaps chocolate, can also be a day to share the love of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is our ultimate Valentine! He came among us, walked alongside of us, and then took our sins on himself and died on a cross to save us.
From his heart of love we receive a new heart. His shed blood saves us from sin, death, and the devil. And his love can flow through our hearts to the rest of the world.
©2017 True Men Ministries