Love has a story – Saint Valentine | chapter 4

by Craig on February 8, 2013

May 14, 269 AD

Like snowflakes in a blinding blizzard…
a cascade of hearts is swirling about me.

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 it’s as if by siege.

This is chapter 4 of the story of Saint Valentine, which 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?”

Thankfully, everyone’s contributing to the game of chase the goose.
The answer up north is that I’m baptizing in the Pascara.
The answer to the south is that I’m marrying scores in Naples.

I am apparently everywhere…
but never in the same place twice.

source

They’re searching for the needle…
but haven’t a clue where the haystack is.

Once, they came close to the haystack.
I was in town as I was warned of their arrival.
I galloped home at breakneck speed and stopped just short.

Roman soldiers were on the road.

Lucius the baker was cowering and twitching before a Roman foot soldier like a bunny surrounded by wolves. He was giving every evidence of fear to the point of persuasion.

“I don’t want to give him away sir.” he pleaded, tears falling like rain.

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

“He is there!” Lucius cried out.

His head dropped…
and his finger raised…
shaking as he pointed.

“I’m sorry Valentine.”

All eyes turned to where he was pointing…

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.

But the baker put himself at risk and I can’t have that. I have no choice but to chide them.

I warn them all 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 then trampled…and then pressed.

Then the master of the vineyard…
will meet the same fate as the grapes.

But I will not put my hand to the plow and look back…

♥✞ღ

There is more to the story of Valentine…

Please come back.

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