And just like that… it’s Valentine’s Day

Did you know that the first Valentine’s Day was celebrated way back in 496 A.D., over 225 years after the Christian priest Valentine was beheaded?

Valentine, according to stories passed down through the generations, was a clergyman well-known for ministering to Christians being persecuted during the brief reign of Claudius II. This act of love raised the ire of local officials and led to his arrest and subsequent imprisonment. Apparently, when meeting face-to-face with the Roman Emperor, Valentine attempted to convert him to Christianity. His bold act of evangelism resulted in Valentine being sentenced to death. According to the folklore of the time, Valentine was beaten with stones, clubbed, and unceremoniously beheaded on February 14, 269. Roman officials hastily disposed of Valentine’s body, burying his corpse at a nearby cemetery. As legend tells it, a few days after his hush-hush burial, Valentine’s disciples went to where they thought he was buried, retrieved his body in the darkness of night, and returned him home for a funeral ceremony and proper burial. Romantic isn’t it?

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”

The Gospel of John 17:20-26 [New Living Translation]

I think Valentine became the “Saint of Love Everywhere” primarily because of the love he demonstrated to others, even his enemies. He saw people in harm’s way, marginalized, and lessened, and decided to do something to help them. He ministered to them, in the name of Jesus, and assisted them however he could. In the early days of the church, Christians were routinely targets of persecution, in a way that it is hard for us as American Christians to fully comprehend. Then, when he came face-to-face with his persecutor, Valentine, in a final act of love, shared the Good News with his nemesis.

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

The Gospel of John 15:13 [New Living Translation]

I pray that you get to show your love to the people God gave you to love in a special way today. Husbands, love your wives well, in the same way that Christ loved the Church. Not just today, but every day.

Blessings–and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Rainer Bantau
The Devotional Guy™


The Devotional Guy™ Rainer Bantau © 2023



  1. That’s a really interesting approach. Thanks Rainer!

    Andy B


  2. Glad it hit the spot, Andy. Thank you for taking time to read and comment on my post. Blessings.


  3. You’re very welcome

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like this. It pretty much explained it all the way.

    Liked by 1 person

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