The Real Meaning of Valentine’s Day

Legend states that Valentine, along with St. Marius, aided the Christian martyrs during the Claudian persecution. In addition to his other edicts against helping Christians, Claudius had also issued a decree forbidding marriage. In order to increase troops for his army, he forbade young men to marry, believing that single men made better soldiers than married men.

Valentine defied this decree and urged young lovers to come to him in secret so that he could join them in the sacrament of matrimony. Eventually he was discovered by the Emperor, who promptly had Valentine arrested and brought before him. Because he was so impressed with the young priest, Claudius attempted to convert him to Roman paganism rather than execute him. However, Valentine held steadfast and in turn attempted to convert Claudius to Christianity, at which point the Emperor condemned him to death.

While in prison, Valentine was tended by the jailer, Asterius, and his blind daughter. Asterius’ daughter was very kind to Valentine and brought him food and messages. They developed a friendship and toward the end of his imprisonment Valentine was able to convert both father and daughter to Christianity. Legend has it that he also miraculously restored the sight of the jailer’s daughter.

The night before his execution, the priest wrote a farewell message to the girl and signed it affectionately “From Your Valentine,” a phrase that lives on even to today. He was executed on February 14th, 273 AD in Rome. The Martyrology says, “At Rome, on the Flaminian Way, the heavenly birthday of the blessed martyr Valentine, a priest. After performing many miraculous cures and giving much wise counsel he was beaten and beheaded under Claudius Caesar.”

The church in which he is buried existed already in the fourth century and was the first sanctuary Roman pilgrims visited upon entering the Eternal City.

The valentine has become the universal symbol of friendship and affection shared each anniversary of the priest’s execution — St. Valentine’s Day. Valentine has also become the patron of engaged couples.

Patron: Affianced couples; against fainting; bee keepers; betrothed couples; engaged couples; epilepsy; fainting; greeting card manufacturers; greetings; happy marriages; love; lovers; plague; travellers; young people.

Symbols: Birds; roses; bishop with a crippled or epileptic child at his feet; bishop with a rooster nearby; bishop refusing to adore an idol; bishop being beheaded; priest bearing a sword; priest holding a sun; priest giving sight to a blind girl.

Things to Do:

* Pray to St. Valentine for an increase of true, sacrificial love within marriages.

Civilians seek Life-Safety in Srilanka

MULLAITHEEVU, Srilanka – quarter of a million civilians are caught in the deadly final battles of Sri Lanka’s civil war. I’ve just written to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging the U.S. to pressure Sri Lanka’s government and rebel groups to ensure the safety of the civilians. Sending a message is very easy to do, and can help to save lives −− the U.S. State Department has agreed to brief Secretary Clinton about the messages sent in. Please join me in clicking this link:

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John Paul II`s Theology of Communication Book Released

Posted by Paul Cheruthottupuram, Kolkata
News in Education and Culture, Education Higher , Media, Success Story

ROME – A new book entitled John Paul II: Development of a Theology of Communication co-authored by Dr. Christine A. Mugridge and Salesian Sr. Marie Gannon, was released at the Radio Vatican`s Marconi Hall, 4 February. The 294-page Libreria Editrice Vaticana (LEV) book costing USD 29.95 is available at

Indian addresses in Roman City Hall Convention

Prof . Scaria making a PowerPoint presentation at the Convention. Photo by C.M. Paul

Prof . Scaria making a PowerPoint presentation at the Convention. Photo by C.M. Paul

ROME, Italy – A three hour convention took place in the Roman City Hall at Campidoglio’s Carroccio Hall, 3 February. The topic of the evening was entitled: Christians in the World Today (Cristiani nel mondo oggi). Among the speakers were: Fr Guiseppe Caramazza (Joint-director of MISNA – Missionary News Agency); Prof. Scaria Thuruthiyil former dean of the Philosophy Faculty (Salesian University Rome) expert on problems confronting Christians in India; Fr Livio Tagliaferi, Comboni Missionary expert on Sudan; and Fr Agostino Bita (Chaplain of the Congolese Community in Rome) speaking on Congo, Ruanda and Burundi.

“It is important that we give an institutional voice to the tragedy that continues to befall the Christian community,” said moderator of the evening Prof Gabriella Picchini introducing the topic. Some 120 people packed the hall.

Rome Corporation’s young Councilor Honorable Antonio Stampete of the Democratic Party lamented “the lack of media support in keeping the issue alive in the public eye.”

Each speaker spoke briefly on their topic of expertise for about 25 minutes. While all speakers used the lecture method, Prof Scaria’s presentation opened with a five minute video on the recent anti-Christian violence in India, particularly in Orissa with a commentary in Italian language. It was followed up with a 25-minute power point presentation on Christianity in India, rise of Hindu revivalism with fundamentalist tendencies.

“I tried to answer the question: how is it that Hinduism which has preached and practiced ‘tolerance’ for millennia (in fact the most tolerant of all religions) suddenly became so intolerant?” says Dr Thuruthiyil.

“The scope of the convention was not only to give information but also to take decisions and propose concrete action against such violence and ensure basic human rights are upheld,” adds Dr Thurutiyil who was assisted in preparing by two doctoral students from the faculty Frs. Thathy Reddy (INH) and Fr Francis Vattukulam (INK).

The convention was held under the patronage of Roman Corporation Councilor Honourable Antonio Stampete and Collector of the Lazio region Honorable Marco Di Stefano.