Love has a Saint…Valentine…and his story is unfolding…(pt4)

by Craig on January 31, 2012

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May 14, 269 AD

Too many hearts are swirling about.
I cannot marry fast enough those who come here.
By legions they arrive, from every corner of the Empire.

At first it was by invitation…
Now…as if by siege.

The story of Valentine, the bishop of Interamna, continues…
This is part 4, part 3 is here, and 2 hereand it began here.

They arrive at all hours…
without the discretion required for secrecy.

I am marrying hundreds, thousands…
but what was once clandestine is no longer such.

The soldiers have only one question, “Where is Valentine?”

The people are all contributing to the chasing of the goose.
The answer is up north baptizing in the Pascara.
The answer is south, marrying scores in Naples…
he is everywhere, but never in the same place twice.

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Except…there was…one…

twitching and cowering before the Roman foot soldier…
giving every evidence of fear to the point of persuasion.

“I don’t want to give him away sir.”

Yet, as the soldier begins to draw the sword from its sheath…
the words of the man’s confession beat the sword to freedom.

“He is there!” he cries…
as his head drops…
and his finger raises…
and shakes as it points…

“I’m sorry Valentine.”

All eyes turn to the man on the horse.

To the Roman soldier…

on the horse…

who turns pale…and laughs…uneasy under the glare.

He pleads his innocence just long enough for my innocent betrayer to flee into the woods.

And when the people come to me to share their exploits and stories, and glory in the cleverness of their deceit. I have no choice but to chide them.

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I warn them about the danger of the lie, one of the first sins, and one of the most perilous. I remind them that love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but in the truth. Then I confess them and instruct them by way of penance.

And then…

I thank them.

No other priest will perform the now illegal rites of marriage. It is only here, in Interamna, that love can continue to ripen to Holy Matrimony. The grapes turning to sweet wine, not growing old, but aging to a fullness – a pleasant aroma to Our Lord.

But a fool could see…
that if mine is the only vineyard…

soon the grapes will all be plucked…
and trampled…and pressed…

and then the master of the vineyard…

he will meet the same fate as the grapes.

But there is no stopping now…

There is more to the story of Valentine…please come back.

and if you hearted this at all,
or if you think others might find it useful,
would you consider sharing it in one of the ways below?

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

A. January 31, 2012 at 9:03 am

Valentine….faithful in the face of dreadfulness. Thank you, Craig, for encouraging us with these stories and words. I am trying to learn how to return love for hate, love for disdain, love for abandonment. Thank you for encouraging us; and you stay encouraged, too.

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Craig January 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Oh, those are hard lessons to learn A. Hard lessons. I get it. You stay encouraged too!! God bless!

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Katie January 31, 2012 at 10:09 pm

<3

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Craig February 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm

♥✞ღ

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Short Poems February 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Beautiful post, Thank you, Craig for sharing with us :)

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Craig February 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm

to my youngest reader – with wisdom beyond her years – thank you – and God bless you. (ツ)

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Lisa Maria February 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Just catching up on my reading and, as always, its nice to come back here. I saw your comment on the last post about how much effort you put into your writing…I kind of do the same thing…I’m though not as good as you! (its the perfectionist in me.) Thank you Craig for creating a place that blesses us. Looking forward to more of your story.

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Craig February 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Lisa Maria, that’s an awfully kind comment, thank you. I heart your writing by the way. God bless you Lisa Maria – and all of yours. Now – before I forget – let me run off and read some of your words. (ツ) By the time you get read this – I already have left a comment. (ツ)

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Caddo Veil February 1, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Hey, Craig–Wow, I’m kinda hooked on this, not wanting it to end! Hope you’re feeling tip-top again (though, if it’s what I had, it drags on longer than you may have patience for)–and hope your sis and the twins are doing well, too. Sending prayers, as always–God bless you abundantly!

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Craig February 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Caddo, thank you for this comment too. Sorry I’m responding so late – I’ve actually responded to your later comment first ツ and the blech is lingering a little – but things were dark – and they’re much lighter now – and I’m gaining the upper hand in the spiritual stuff – or God is gaining the upper hand in lending it to me – or something like that. I’ll always take the prayers – thank you – and God bless you abundantly as well!

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Craig February 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Oh – and the twins are still on the way– and I actually babysat and played blocks, and dolls, and read books, and played ball, and giggled, and laughed with my 2 year old niece just today for about two hours as mom ran about cleaning the house – and getting stuff done. All that advice I got – so good – I’ll be writing more about that soon. God bless!

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Nacole@sixinthesticks February 15, 2012 at 6:47 pm

hey Craig,

so glad to finally be back reading again…and this is such a good story. i will try to share, as you so kindly asked at the end of the post. i like my privacy and am afraid if i share, that my comments will be here for all to see…oh well, i will do it for you.

i liked your comment you left over at my place…thanks–you always encourage. what do you mean, im brave? i think i may know, but wanted to be sure i understood you. and that my heart can be set straight–yes. *blushing smile* yes, i want Christ to do this work in sin-filled me.

blessings brother and friend!

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Doug Spurling February 17, 2012 at 10:10 am

Wow. Not sure how I got here — but sure glad I did. Thanky-you Lord for this Lovely gift.

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