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Saint of the Day—available on the iPhone!

Saint of the Day
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

February 14
St. Valentine
d. 269


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This saint's feastday is well known far beyond the Catholic Church because of its association with lovers. Cards, gifts, and romantic dinners are timed in his honor.

Surprisingly, not that much is known about St. Valentine. He was a priest in Italy and was martryed in 269 outside Rome along the Flaminian Way. A basilica was built there in 350, but a church under his patronage already existed in Interamna (Terni). He may have been bishop there. His relics were transferred in the ninth century to Rome's church of St. Praxedes.

There are two main theories why Valentine is linked to lovers. In the 14th century, First, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a poem suggesting that birds choose their mates on February 14. Second, at the pagan festival of Lupercalia (February 15), names of young men and young women were drawn at random. The feast of St. Valentine may be a Christianized version of this—but now not for random pairings!



Comment:

Valentine could have saved his life by denying his Christian faith. He chose to affirm it instead.

Self-sacrifice and love are always linked.



Patron Saint of:

Greetings
Lovers



Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.



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Sharbel Makhluf: Although this saint never traveled far from the Lebanese village of Beka-Kafra, where he was born, his influence has spread widely. 
<p>Joseph Zaroun Makluf was raised by an uncle because his father, a mule driver, died when Joseph was only three. At the age of 23, Joseph joined the Monastery of St. Maron at Annaya, Lebanon, and took the name Sharbel in honor of a second-century martyr. He professed his final vows in 1853 and was ordained six years later. </p><p>Following the example of the fifth-century St. Maron, Sharbel lived as a hermit from 1875 until his death. His reputation for holiness prompted people to seek him to receive a blessing and to be remembered in his prayers. He followed a strict fast and was very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. When his superiors occasionally asked him to administer the sacraments to nearby villages, Sharbel did so gladly. </p><p>He died in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve. Christians and non-Christians soon made his tomb a place of pilgrimage and of cures. Pope Paul VI beatified him in 1965 and canonized him 12 years later.</p> American Catholic Blog You cannot claim to be ‘for Christ’ and espouse a political cause that implies callous indifference to the needs of millions of human beings and even cooperate in their destruction.

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