St. Valentine was a holy priest of Rome who was martyred under the Emperor Aurelian in 270. He cooperated in the Saviour's Redemption "by bearing the cross after Him." "Having made the sacrifices of his life for Him, he finds it again" for "victorious in his terrible fight" God "crowns him in heaven with glory and honor."



      Novena to St. Valentine

O holy Martyr, St. Valentine, pray for the Faithful, who are so persevering in celebrating thy memory. The day of Judgment will reveal to us all thy glorious merits. Oh! intercede for us, that we may then be made thy companions at the right hand of the Great Judge, and be united with thee eternally in heaven.


Antiphon: This Saint fought, even unto death, for the law of his God, and feared not the words of the wicked; for he was set upon a firm rock.



      Let us pray:

Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we who solemnize the festival of blessed Valentine, Thy Martyr, may, by his intercession, be delivered from all the evils that threaten us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


(Here mention your petitions)


Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father




        ______________________



      St. Valentine, Priest and Martyr
by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger


The holy Priest Valentine lived at the time of the Emperor Claudius. He was held in high estimation, both by the Christians and heathens, on account of his natural amiability, wisdom and virtue. Claudius himself desired to see him, and on his being brought into his presence, said to him: "Why do you refuse to be my friend, when I wish to become yours? Nothing in you displeases me, but that you confess a faith which is against our gods." Valentine replied: "O Emperor! if you knew the God I worship, you would consider yourself blessed to serve Him. He it is who has given you your life and your crown, and who alone can make you eternally happy." One of those present interrupted him, saying: "What think you, then, of Jupiter,--of Mercury?" "I think that they have been wicked men, as their lives show," answered the Priest;" and, therefore, they are unworthy to be called gods." "That is sacrilege!" cried many: "Valentine deserves to die!" Valentine begged the Emperor graciously to lend him his ear, only for a short space of time, that he might defend his words.

Having received permission to speak, he placed the falsity, of the heathen gods and the truth of the God of the Christians so clearly before their eyes, that the Emperor, prepossessed in his favor, said to those surrounding him: "I must confess this man speaketh with much reason, and nothing can be said to confute his teaching." Calphurnius, the Governor, who was also present, on hearing the Emperor speak thus, was filled with fear that he would embrace the Christian faith, and cried: "Valentine is a sorcerer, a blasphemer of the gods of the Empire! He must die, or an insurrection will break out among the people!" This speech alarmed the Emperor to such a degree that he gave up the holy Priest entirely into the hands of the Governor.

Calphurnius immediately cast him into a dungeon, and gave orders to Judge Asterius to accuse him as an enemy of the gods, according to law. Asterius wished first to make an attempt to win over the Priest, who was so universally loved, from the Christian faith, but to the good fortune of the judge, the contrary took place. Valentine restored the sight of the daughter of Asterius, who had been blind for many years, and, in consequence, the judge and his whole family forsook their idolatry and were baptized. When this was reported to the Emperor, he admired the power of the God whom Valentine adored, and endeavored to set the Saint free, but again frightened by Calphurnius with an insurrection, he at length gave orders to behead him. Saint Valentine received his death sentence with great joy, and ended his life by a glorious martyrdom.


Practical Considerations

The holy Priest Valentine desires to convert the heathen Emperor, and endeavors to convince him of the falsity of his idols and the truth of the Christian God. How is it with you? Have you a true knowledge of the God in whom you believe? Do you strive to obtain it? To prefer, and more frequently to go to the theatre than to listen to a sermon; to prefer, and more frequently to read, a silly, or perhaps a sinful book, than a book of devotion; to prefer, and more frequently to speak of worldly affairs, of voluptuousness, of games, of luxurious garments, of your neighbors' faults, or even of obscenities, than of God and holy subjects; these are not the means by which men are led to the most necessary knowledge of God. By listening to the Word of God, by reading books of devotion, by pious conversation, and by divine contemplation, we come to the knowledge of God. Do you make use of these means, or do you, perhaps, think that it is not so necessary to attain a knowledge of God? What! You surely are aware that Christ said: "Now this is eternal life," that is the condition, the foundation, the first means to the eternal life: "that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent" (St. John,, ch. xvii.).

Where there is no knowledge of God, there is no true faith in Him, no true hope, no true love, no fear of God, no hope of salvation. St. Jerome said rightly: "The man who acknowledges not God, should rather be called an unreasonable animal than a man." Where the knowledge of God is wanting, there the greatest crimes find an easy entrance and prevail; according to the words of the Prophet, "There is no knowledge of God in the land. Cursing, and lying, and killing, and theft, and adultery have overflowed" (Osee, chapter iv.). What can follow such crimes but eternal ruin? Consequently, strive zealously, through the means above mentioned, to attain a true knowledge of God. The better your comprehension of God, the more immovable will be your faith, the firmer your hope, the more ardent your love for Him, the more fervent your zeal to serve Him, the more carefully will you shun sin and endeavor to perform good actions. And this, believe me, is the only path that leads to salvation.






Litany of the Love of God
(Composed by Pope Pius VI, 1717 - 1799)

Lord have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father in heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.


Thou Who art Infinite Love,
I love Thee, O my God. *


Thou Who didst first love me, *
Thou Who commandest me to love Thee, *
With all my heart,*
With all my soul, *
With all my mind, *
With all my strength, *
Above all possessions and honors, *
Above all pleasures and enjoyments, *
More than myself and all that belongs to me, *
More than all my relatives and friends, *
More than all men and angels, *
Above all created things in heaven or on earth, *
Only for Thyself, *
Because Thou art the sovereign Good, *
Because Thou art infinitely worthy of being loved, *
Because Thou art infinitely perfect, *
Even hadst Thou not promised me heaven, *
Even hadst Thou not menaced me with hell, *
Even shouldst Thou try me by want and misfortune, *
In wealth and in poverty, *
In prosperity and in adversity, *
In health and in sickness, *
In life and in death, *
In time and in eternity, *
In union with that love wherewith all the Saints and all the Angels love Thee in heaven, *
In union with that love wherewith the Blessed Virgin Mary loveth Thee, *
In union with that infinite love wherewith Thou lovest Thyself eternally, *


Let us pray:


My God, Who dost possess in incomprehensible abundance all that is perfect and worthy of love, annihilate in me all guilty, sensual, and undue love for creatures: kindle in my heart the pure flame of Thy love, so that I may love nothing but Thee or in Thee, until, being entirely consumed by holy love of Thee, I may go to love Thee eternally with the elect in Heaven, the country of pure love. Amen.





Indulgenced Ejaculations

My God, grant that I may love Thee, and the only reward of my love be to love Thee always more and more.

(Indulgence of 100 days, once a day.
Leo XIII., March 15, 1890)




Jesus, my God, I love Thee above all things.

(Indulgence of 50 days, each time.
Pius IX., May 7, 1854)




My Jesus, Thou knowest well that I love Thee; but I do not love Thee enough. Oh, grant that I may love Thee more. O love that burnest ever and never failest, my God, Thou Who art charity itself, enkindle in my heart that divine fire which consumes the saints and transforms them into Thee. Amen.

(Indulgence of 50 days, twice a day.
Leo XIII.. Feb. 6, 1893)




Sweetest Jesus, grant me an increase of faith, hope, and charity, a contrite and humble heart.

(Indulgence of 100 days, once a day.
Leo XIII., Sept. 13, 1893)




My loving Jesus! I (N.N.) give Thee my heart, and I consecrate myself wholly to Thee, out of the grateful love I bear Thee, and as a reparation for all my unfaithfulness; and with Thy aid I purpose never to sin again.

(Indulgence of 100 days, once a day, if recited before a picture of the Sacred Heart.
Pius VII., Tune 9, 1807)




O sweetest Heart of Jesus, I implore that I may ever love Thee more and more.

(Indulgence of 300 days, each time.
Pius IX., Nov. 26, 1876)




Sweet Heart of Jesus, be my love.

(Indulgence of 300 days, once a day.
Leo XIII., May 21, 1892)






       


      

      St. Valentine's Day
      (The Manual of the Holy Catholic Church, 1906)

Of St. Valentine few particulars are known. He was a holy priest of Rome, put to death about the year 270. One of the great Roman gates was built in his honor and called after him. It is now known as "del Popolo."

But the name of St. Valentine has come down to us associated with the remnant of a pagan custom, that of choosing for a year some person to whom honor should be paid. The casting of lots was held on the 15th of February, and with it began the Roman festival of Lupercalia, in honor of the god Pan and the goddess Juno. To put down so dangerous a feast-making, the Church, according to Alban Butler, instituted the custom of drawing saints to be venerated for a year on the feast of St. Valentine, the day preceding that of the pagan lot-drawing, thus substituting heavenly for earthly love.

This old, old custom of choosing some one to love, to be looked up to, sets one thinking. So widespread a custom, lasting, too, for so long a time through the pagan era through the Middle Ages, even to our own day, seems to point to some natural cause. And it does. We are social beings in the natural and supernatural order, conscious of weakness and insufficiency when standing alone. In the garden of Paradise the foundation of society was laid when Adam said, "a man shall leave father and mother and cleave to his wife," showing that at no period of his life need he stand alone. The supernatural order is based upon the two great laws, ''Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

And there is such a stretching out of hands towards our fellow-creatures, such an expansion of heart at the sight of suffering or sorrow or need, that we have to be on our guard, lest it work in us merely from a natural goodness without the sacred stamp of grace.

This custom then of drawing saints to be our patrons for the year is a happy thought, bearing upon the inward yearning towards others; it is an expression of the loneliness of the human heart, its want of sympathy; it is also the bond between Heaven and earth. We are not made like the beasts with our eyes level with the ground, tending downwards. We have a right to invade the unseen world, to choose helpers there, to count upon assistance and comfort and cheering, where there is so much consolation, help, and joy.

A certain number of patrons were chosen for us by our parents without our having a say in the matter. Others we ourselves chose at confirmation, but without any very distinct idea of what we were doing, perhaps. But our patron on Valentine's day can be one of mature deliberation, based upon a natural attraction and admiration, one whose example in the battle-field of life will be a help to us in our hour of trial. The more communion we can have with Heaven the better for us. The more our interests lie above, the less will the chains of earth rivet us to things below. And the chains of earth do bind. They bind in childhood and in youth; in middle manhood and old age. So the spirit that soars upward is the brave spirit, the safest, the happiest, and the strongest. There have been those who, in extreme old age, could show a long list of patrons whom they had honored for a year each with particular devotion, and when the allotted time was over added them to the long list of their predecessors, and invoked them still with the new Valentine of the New Year. What an array there would be of choice saints to meet such as these when they came to their Heavenly reward.

To some of us who do not love multiplicity our own namesake may be our perpetual Valentine--the patron given to us at our baptism, or chosen at our confirmation, or at any other solemn occasion. Let these then become realities to us, living friends and helpers, substantial guardians. The Heavenly patron will never be wanting to his earthy client--of that we may be sure. Let us not be wanting to him. St. Valentine, pray for us!


      Choose from our Listing of Saints



        ______________________



      Hymn: Deus tuorum militum


O God, of those that fought Thy fight,
Portion, and prize, and crown of light,
Break every bond of sin and shame
As now we praise Thy Martyr's name.


He recked not of the world's allure,
But sin and pomp of sin forswore;
Knew all their gall, and passed them by,
And reached the throne prepared on high.


Bravely the course of pain he ran,
And bare his torments as a man:
For love of Thee his blood outpoured,
And thus obtained the great reward.


With humble voice and suppliant word
We pray Thee therefore, holy Lord,
While we Thy Martyr's feast-day keep,
Forgive Thy loved and erring sheep.


Glory and praise for aye be done
To God the Father, and the Son,
And Holy Ghost, Who reign on high,
One God, to all eternity.


      (Ambrosian Hymn)



        ______________________



      Sermon by St. Augustine, Bishop

Today we keep our annual celebration of the triumph of the blessed Martyr Valentine, and the Church, while rejoicing in his glory, places him before us, that we may follow in his footsteps. If we suffer with him, we shall be glorified with him. There are two things to be considered in this glorious combat: namely, the hard-hearted cruelty of the torturer, and the unconquered patience of the Martyr--the cruelty of the torturer, that we may detest it; the patience of the Martyr, that we may imitate it. Hear what the Psalmist says in reproof of wickedness: Be not emulous of evildoers, for they shall shortly wither away as grass. But the Apostle teaches patience with the wicked in the words: Patience is necessary for you, that you may receive the promise.








Acts of the Love of God

1. My God, my sovereign good, would that I had always loved thee!
2. My God, I detest the time in which I loved Thee not.
3. How have I lived so long without Thy holy love!
4. And Thou, my God, how hast Thou borne with me?
5. I thank Thee, O my God, for so much patience.
6. Now I desire to love Thee for ever.
7. I would rather die than cease to love Thee.
8. My God, deprive me of life rather than permit that I should cease to love Thee.
9. The grace I ask of Thee is, that I may always love Thee.
10. With Thy love I shall be happy.

Glory be to the Father, &c.


1. My God, I desire to see Thee loved by all men.
2. I should consider it a happiness to give my blood, in order that all men may love Thee.
3. Blind are they who love Thee not.
4. Enlighten them, O my God!
5. Not to love Thee, O Sovereign Good, is the only evil to be feared.
6. Never will I be of the number of those blind souls who love Thee not.
7. Thou, O my God, art my Joy and all my good.
8. I desire to be wholly Thine for ever.
9. Who shall ever be able to separate me from Thy love!
10. Come, all created beings: come, all of you, and love my God.

Glory be to the Father, &c.


1. My God, would that I had a thousand hearts to love Thee!
2. Would that I had the hearts of all men to love Thee!
3. How I should rejoice were there many worlds, who might all love Thee!
4. I should be happy if I could love Thee with the heart of all possible creatures.
5. Thou, indeed, dost merit it, O my God!
6. My heart is too poor and too cold to love Thee!
7. O woful insensibility of man, in regard of this Sovereign Good!
8. Oh, the blindness of worldlings, who know not true love!
9. O blessed inhabitants of heaven, who know it and love it!
10. O happy necessity, to love God!

Glory be to the Father, &c.


1. O my God, when shall I burn with love for Thee?
2. Oh, how happy would be my lot!
3. But since I know not how to love Thee, I can rejoice at this,
that so many others love Thee with all their hearts.
4. I rejoice at this particularly, that the angels and saints love Thee in heaven.
5. I unite my feeble heart to their inflamed hearts.
6. Would that I could love Thee as well as those saints who have been most inflamed with love for Thee!
7. Would that I had for Thee a love similar to that of St. Mary Magdalene,
St. Catherine, and St. Teresa!
8. Or such as that of St. Augustin, St. Dominic, St. Francis Xavier, St. Philip Neri, St. Aloysius Gonzaga.
9. Or as that which was entertained for Thee by the holy Apostles; and particularly by St. Peter, St. Paul, and the beloved disciple.
10. Or, in fine, as that with which the great patriarch St. Joseph loved Thee.

Glory be to the Father, &c.


1. Would, moreover, that I could love Thee as the blessed Virgin loved thee upon earth!
2. As she loved Thee, particularly when she conceived Thy divine Son in her virginal womb, when she brought Him into the world, when she nourished Him with her milk, and when she saw Him die.
3. Would that I could love Thee as she loves Thee now, and as she will love Thee for ever in heaven!
4. But to love Thee as thou deservest to be loved, O God, infinitely good, even this would not suffice.
5. I should wish, moreover, to love Thee as the Divine Word made Man loved Thee.
6. As he loved Thee at His birth.
7. As he loved Thee expiring on the cross.
8. As He loves Thee continually in the tabernacles where he lies hid.
9. As He loves, and shall low Thee for ever.
10. In line, my God, I wish to love Thee as thou lovest us; but since that is impossible, grant that I may love thee as well as I know how, as much as I can, and as much as Thou wishest me. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, &c.


Prayer:

O God, who has prepared invisible rewards for those who love Thee, pour forth some of Thy love into our hearts, to the end that, loving Thee in all and above all, we may obtain the accomplishment of Thy promises, which surpass all desire; through our Lord Jesus Christ, &.

(Pius VII., by a rescript, August 11, 1818, granted an indulgence of three hundred days to all the faithful who should recite, with a contrite heart, a succession of acts of the love of God, arranged in form of a crown, with five Gloria Patris, as above. By saying them ten times a month for a whole year, a person may gain a plenary indulgence on any day he may choose; confession, communion, and prayers according to the Pope's intentions being supposed.)





_________________________




An Act of Love

O my God, I love Thee with my whole heart, and above all things, because Thou art infinitely good in Thyself and infinitely to be loved; and for the love of Thee I love my neighbor as myself.


A Daily Oblation

My God and my all, I most earnestly desire, by my every breath, every thought, every word, every desire, and my every movement of body and soul,--to tell thee a thousand times that I love Thee more than life, or any thing in this world; and I offer and dedicate myself to Thee, renewing my baptismal vows, together with the promises and resolutions of my life past. I offer thee also (and by every movement of my body and soul I desire to renew the oblation) all the praise, thanks, and adoration of the Church militant, triumphant, and suffering; all that it has offered Thee, or will offer to the end of time; all the love, complacency, and delights thou possessest in Thy divine essence; all the homage rendered to Thee by my Savior Jesus Christ in the most adorable Sacrament of the Altar; all the Masses that are now celebrating, have been, or will be celebrated to the end of time, to Thy honor and glory, without any other wish or desire but that of pleasing Thee, loving Thee, living for Thee, and dying for Thee. I am thine, my God and my all; oh, make me so entirely and eternally. Above all, take my heart; extirpate from it all other affections, and make it for the future a furnace of the purest flames of Thy most ardent love. Amen.


An Act of Contrition

O Father of mercies! who desirest not the death of sinners; look upon me, a miserable sinner, according to the multitude of Thy mercies. I acknowledge and confess, and am heartily sorry for, all the sins of my past life, and of this day in particular. I cast myself at Thy feet, and beseech Thee to cover all my sins with that infinite love with which Thou hast loved us from all eternity. I grieve from the bottom of my heart that I have been so ungrateful to Thee for Thy benefits, and have so often offended Thee, my God and my chief good. Spare me, I beseech Thee, by the death and love of Jesus Christ thy Son; and mercifully forgive me whatsoever sins I have this day, or heretofore, committed against Thee, my neighbour, or myself.




_________________________




On Charity and Love
from Sacred Scripture


"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church, and delivered Himself up for it."--
Ephesians 5:25


"Teach the young women to be wise, to love their husbands, to love their children."--Titus 2:4


"If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

"Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.

"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity."--

First Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Corinthians, Chapter 13





Prayer to obtain the Virtue of Charity

Oh, my Redeemer, how unlike am I to Thee! Thou wast all charity towards Thy persecutors; I am all rancor and hatred towards my neighbors. Thou didst pray with so much love for those who crucified Thee; and I immediately seek revenge against those who offend me. Pardon me, my Jesus; I wish to be no more what I have hitherto been; give me strength to love and to do good to all who injure me. Abandon me not, O Lord, to my passions. Oh, what a hell it would be to me if, after having received so many of Thy graces, I were again separated from Thee and deprived of Thy friendship! For the sake of the Blood Thou hast shed for me, permit not such a separation. Eternal Father, through the merits of Thy Son, suffer me not to become Thine enemy. O my God, look not on my sins, but on Jesus, Thy Son, Who has sacrificed His life for my salvation. For the sake of Jesus have pity on me, and pardon all my offences against Thee, and especially those which I have committed by my want of charity to my neighbor.







Prayer for Married People

My Saviour Jesus, Who hast united us in so indissoluble a tie by means of a great sacrament, maintain us in a spirit of union and concord, loving one another as Thou dost love the Church; give us the spirit of patience and gentleness, peacefully to bear with each other's faults; arm us with the spirit of prudence and holiness, so that we may always remain within the limits of our duties, and in no way offend Thee by any act opposed to the profound respect due to Thy sacrament. Send us a spirit of prudent concern and forethought, that we may with justice and charity provide for the needs of our family. Preserve us from the spirit of the world and the love of its vanities, so that we may only seek to please Thee, our God, our Love, the true bond of our hearts. Inspire us with a true spirit of faith, so that our home may be a school of piety, and a sanctuary where all virtue may be found. Far from us, O God! far from us the misfortune of being the cause of our children's ruin through our over-indulgence or our disedifying life. Far be from our home whatever could be a scandal or an occasion of sin. O Mary! to thy maternal heart we recommend our children: be to them a Mother, and form their hearts to virtue. Tender Mother, may they be pious, charitable, and always Christian; may their lives, filled with good works, be crowned by a holy death. O Mary, may we all be reunited in heaven, there to contemplate thy glory, to celebrate thy goodness to us, and thy love, and to bless thee eternally with thy dear Son Jesus Christ. Amen.





Prayer of One About to Be Married

O Gracious Father, who dost bless us by Thy bounty, pardon us by Thy mercy, support and guide us by Thy grace, and govern us by Thy providence: I give Thee humble and hearty thanks for all the mercies which I have received at Thy hands in time past. And now, since Thou hast called me to the holy estate of marriage, be pleased to be with me in my entering into it and passing through it, that it may not be a state of temptation or sorrow to me by occasion of my sins or infirmities, but of holiness and comfort, of love and dutifulness, as Thou hast intended it to be to all that love and fear Thy holy name. Amen.