On St. Valentine's Day

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Dear Korea
Times editor,

For most people,
St. Valentine’s Day is a day of affection and confectionary, a day
of kisses, candy and flowers. But just as Christmas is about more
than gifts, so too does Valentine’s Day have a deeper meaning.

The true romance
of the celebration begins with the legend of St. Valentine in roughly
270 A.D.

St. Valentine
was a holy priest who was arrested and imprisoned for marrying Christian
couples and for aiding Christians who were being persecuted during
the reign of Claudius the Goth (Claudius II).

He was brought
to prison where he was tortured in an attempt to make him renounce
his Christian faith. When Valentine instead tried to convert Claudius,
he was executed outside the Flaminian Gate on Feb. 14, in about
the year 270 A.D.

One legend
says, while awaiting his execution, couples for whom he had conducted
marriages brought him flowers and gifts to show their respect and
admiration.

This led to
today’s tradition of presenting your Valentine with gifts. It is
also said that, while imprisoned, he restored the sight of his jailer’s
blind daughter and that this miracle led to his eventual canonization.

In 496 A.D.,
Pope Gelasius marked Feb. 14 as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom.
The legend of St. Valentine is a tale of true love that transcends
mere sentiment.

Its noble purpose
should inspire everyone in this new time of religious persecution
to be equally vigilant and heroic in upholding and defending the
traditional definition of marriage presently under assault from
secular humanists.

Let St. Valentine
be our model and inspiration for life and humanity.

~ Paul Kokoski,
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

February
13, 2010

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