OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - The true meaning of St. Valentine's Day: Catholic Mission urges Australians to love and altruism

Friday, 12 February 2016 solidarity  

Jay Kleeman

Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - While Australians are preparing to buy chocolates and flowers, in a statement sent to Agenzia Fides Catholic Mission wants to remember the true meaning of this day that goes past boxes in the shape of a heart.
"St. Valentine was an extraordinarily courageous priest who was beheaded in defense of the sacred institution of marriage", said Father Brian Lucas, National Director of Catholic Mission.
"You have to go back in time, when
Roman emperor Claudius II banned his soldiers from marrying". The third century AD was a tumultuous time for the Roman Empire, and the total ban of marriage made young men feel frustrated and continuously looked for a way to express their love. "St. Valentine - continues Fr. Brian - secretly married young couples according to the Christian rite. The story goes that he was beaten, tortured and beheaded for his courageous stance. In addition, according to a popular theory, one of his executioners, named Asterius, had a daughter who was blind. Valentine prayed with her and she was healed, Asterius in the end became a Christian. The last words spoken by the saint were found in a note scribbled for Asterius’ daughter in which he wrote: 'a line which will have in common the letters of millions of people around the world on this day: from your Valentine', concludes the director the Catholic Mission. On Valentine's Day, Catholic Mission wants to urge all Australians to be aware of the courage and selflessness regarding St. Valentine’s actions, and his commitment to the true meaning of love. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 12/02/2016)