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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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Ludovico of Casoria: Born in Casoria (near Naples), Arcangelo Palmentieri was a cabinet-maker before entering the Friars Minor in 1832, taking the name Ludovico. After his ordination five years later, he taught chemistry, physics and mathematics to younger members of his province for several years. 
<p>In 1847 he had a mystical experience which he later described as a cleansing. After that he dedicated his life to the poor and the infirm, establishing a dispensary for the poor, two schools for African children, an institute for the children of nobility, as well as an institution for orphans, the deaf and the speechless, and other institutes for the blind, elderly and for travelers. In addition to an infirmary for friars of his province, he began charitable institutes in Naples, Florence and Assisi. He once said, "Christ’s love has wounded my heart." This love prompted him to great acts of charity.
</p><p>To help continue these works of mercy, in 1859 he established the Gray Brothers, a religious community composed of men who formerly belonged to the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later he founded the Gray Sisters of St. Elizabeth for the same purpose.
</p><p>Toward the beginning of his final, nine-year illness, Ludovico wrote a spiritual testament which described faith as "light in the darkness, help in sickness, blessing in tribulations, paradise in the crucifixion and life amid death." The local work for his beatification began within five months of Ludovico’s death. He was beatified in 1993.</p> American Catholic Blog Father, there are so many times when I attempt to do something good, and disturbing situations arise, as if someone or some power is trying to stop me. Give me the grace never to be afraid or avoid doing good for fear of Satan. In Jesus's name, Father, I ask for this grace, Amen.

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