Love has a story: Saint Valentine | chapter 2

by Craig on February 4, 2013

source

March 14, 269 AD

I hold the letter from the Bishop of Rome.
Lips tight, I sigh and shake my head as I read.

(This is part 2 of the story of Saint Valentine , part 1 is here. )

From Felix, bishop of Rome,
to my dear brother in Christ,

Valentine, bishop of Interamna.

For ten years now we have had peace with this Empire. Is it that you pine for the days of lions and the arena? I implore you to cease your activity. This Emperor will go the way of the others. Let him have his decree. What is marriage that it be so important? We are not marrying in the city of Rome, and we are at peace with Claudius. Rejoice in his folly. Let Our Lord fight the battle. Why bother the nest of hornets?

I cannot let it go without reply… and so I write back…

Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, my dear brother Felix, but only in the truth.
Marriage is the earthly representation of Our Lord’s marriage with his bride, the Church.
This is just one step of many that will have us soon worshiping the Sun, Moon, and stars.

Unless we stand.

I wasn’t yet born, but you were there when Perpetua was convicted for her words…

“Everything has a name. My name is Christian. This cannot be changed”.

You know the children who were born of the child she had while in prison. 

Children conceived in love…and marriage.

It is no small thing you are ready to discard.

Have  you forgotten her response to her jailers, who viewed her  labor pain moans as a sign of weakness, and asked how she could possibly bear the injury of the arena?

I remember her answer.

“Now my sufferings are only mine.
But when I face the beasts, there will be another who will live in me,
and He will suffer for me since I shall be suffering for him.”

Felix, love does not stand down when injustice rises up.

You fear trial that comes because of our faith.
I fear the disappearance of faith by avoidance of the trial.

Remember Felix, when after being trampled by the bulls in the arena, Perpetua staggered to her feet and asked the Emperor to allow her a moment to tie her hair again – because her loose hair was a sign of mourning – and this was a joyful day for her.

Remember how she then pleaded…
not with the Emperor…
but every Christian present…
blood mixed with tears…
to stand firm in the faith…

and love one another.

And how she still lived, after the bull ceased its attack…
and the soldier was ordered to dispatch her – to end it all…
and his sword failed to pierce her heart…but shattered her breastbone instead.

And how she cried from pain…
yet still found the strength…
to lift the sword’s tip from the ground…


and point it directly at her neck.

It’s the faith in the trial…
perseverance through the trial…
that is what we must be after…

not peace with hornets.

If you refuse to marry your people…

if you choose to allow love to die in Rome…

send them to me…

and I will marry them here.

I will not allow love to die, at least in my city, my Itneramna.

♥✞ღ

There is much more to the story of Saint Valentine…

Please come back.

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