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By Tonia Long

 

No sooner have the Christmas decorations been taken down than we are surrounded by pink hearts and red roses – St. Valentine’s Day is upon us. Labeled a “Hallmark holiday,” the feast named after a martyr of the Church has lost much of its true meaning.

Holy Mother Church has instituted these special days for our edification and sanctification. They are part of our Catholic heritage and are being stripped of their meaning – especially for our younger generation.

And what I propose is this: Let’s take back our Catholic holidays!

It can be as simple as what my mother used to do. You can do it too, for your family and friends.

Take St. Valentine’s Day, for example.


What I looked forward to the most was the candy – what child wouldn’t?!? My mom would hide chocolate hearts all around our living room. Each heart had a Scripture quote taped to it. We would have sooo much fun searching for our candy! Then, using much restraint, we would read out our Scripture quote (which always had something to do with God’s love for us) before eating the chocolate.

Lessons learned:

**Good things come to those who search for them.
**If you are looking for love, you will find it in the Holy Scriptures.

After the excitement, Mom would settle us down for story time (no small task!). It was the same story every time, but it never got old. By the end of it, we knew just whose feast day it was and why! He was our Super Hero!

And last, but not least, came the Valentine cards. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and neighbors looked forward to these homemade gems every year. By the time we finished making them, there was paper, glue, glitter and holy cards everywhere!


So, how do YOU take back St. Valentine’s Day?

It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3:

1.Share the Holy Scriptures: There’s a lot of love in there!
2.Tell a short story about St. Valentine. (see below)
3.Click on the link or any of the cards you see below and spread TRUE LOVE – No true love is sustained without the help of grace. 

This is your Catholic Faith – your children’s heritage! Don’t let it become just another “Hallmark holiday.”

 

Click here to print these cards
(Instructions are included)

 

 

                                 
 

 

 More Cards 
(click on each card to print)

   

 


 

SAINT VALENTINE

 

Saint Valentine, priest and martyr, lived nearly 1,700 years ago in pagan Rome.

Father Valentine answered God’s call to the priesthood at a time when it wasn’t easy to be a Catholic, and it was downright dangerous to be a priest or bishop.

The infant Catholic Church was being brutally persecuted by Emperor Claudius II. But that didn’t scare young Valentine! He knew that the Christian Faith was the only remedy for the sick and permissive society in which he lived. Especially when it came to Her teachings about the relationship that should exist between a man and a woman as husband and wife.

Polygamy was the norm in pagan Rome. And to make matters worse, the Emperor issued an edict that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to their wives or families if they died in battle.

Saint Valentine took that edict as a challenge. He made it his own personal mission to share the Catholic vision of marriage and the graces of the Sacrament with all those who would listen. And he would go one step further; he would secretly marry as many couples as he could.

Father Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against the edict of Emperor Claudius II. But even while in prison, Father Valentine found ways to carry on his mission.

One of the men who was to judge him was a man called Asterius, whose daughter was blind. Saint Valentine prayed with her and healed the young girl with such charity and compassion that Asterius himself became a Christian as a result.

In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to execution all because of his stand for Christian marriage. The last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius' daughter. He inspired today's romantic missives by signing it, "from your Valentine."

So what does it REALLY mean to be a “Valentine”? Simply this: that there comes a time when you have to lay your life on the line for what you believe. And with the power of the Holy Spirit we can do that – just like Saint Valentine.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

DAILY QUOTE for January 16, 2019

If you really want to love Jesus, first learn to suffer...

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January 16

 

If you really want to love Jesus, first
learn to suffer, because
suffering teaches you to love.

St. Gemma Galgani


Facebook has no problem with BLASPHEMY!

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Honoratus of Arles

Although their father objected and placed obstacles before t...

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St. Honoratus of Arles

Honoratus was born into a patrician Roman family that had settled in Gaul, present-day France. As a young man, he renounced paganism and won his elder brother Venantius over to Christ.

Although their father objected and placed obstacles before them, the two brothers decided to leave the world. Under the tutelage of the hermit St. Caprasius they sailed from Marseilles with the intention of leading a secluded life in a Grecian desert.

In Greece, illness struck and Venantius died in peace. Also ill, Honoratus was obliged to return to Gaul with his instructor. At first, he lived as a hermit in the mountains near Fréjus.  Later, he settled on the island of Lérins off the southern coast of France. Followed by others, he founded a monastery on the island about the year 400. The monastic community is active to this day. St. Patrick, the great apostle of Ireland is said to have studied at Lérins.

In 426 Honoratus was pressed upon to accept the bishopric of Arles, where he reestablished Catholic orthodoxy, challenged by the Arian heresy. He died three years later exhausted from his apostolic labors.
The island of Lérins, today the island of Saint Honorat just south of Cannes, is home to Cistercian monks who live in a majestic monastery and produce fine wines and liqueurs which are well-known throughout the world.

WEEKLY STORY

Mary and the Muslim

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him h...

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Mary and the Muslim

Don Octavio del Monaco was a wealthy citizen of 17th century Naples. Like many of his class, Don Octavius had several Muslim slaves in his household. These children of Islam were amazed at the kindness of their “master.” He fed and clothed them better than they received in their native land. In return, his slaves attended to their tasks with diligence, as Don Octavius did not over work them, but assigned them duties in keeping with their dignity as children of God.

If these Muslim slaves had any reason for complaint, it was the gentle persistence with which their master and his wife exhorted them to give up their false religion and become Catholics. Don Octavius even went so far as to invite the slaves to join his family in the chapel to worship the one true God with them!

Our story today is about one young slave in particular. His name was Abel, like the slain son of Adam and Eve. He felt drawn in a peculiar way to a lamp that burned in front of a shrine to Holy Mary. Abel would purchase the oil needed to keep the lamp lit from his own meager stipend. As he continued to practice this humble devotion, he would say, “I hope that this Lady will grant me some great favor.”

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian. At first the Turk resisted. But she placed her hand upon his shoulder, and said to him: “Now no longer resist, Abel, but be baptized and called Joseph,” conferring on him a name that was very dear to her Immaculate Heart indeed.

On August the 10th, 1648, there was much rejoicing in Heaven, for on that day “Joseph” and eleven other Muslims converted to the Christian faith and were baptized. Their conversion was brought about by the kindness shown by Don Octavius and the special intercession of the Mother of God.

Our story does not end here. Even once this son of hers was safely baptized, Mother Mary delighted in visiting him. Once, after having appeared to him, she was about to depart. But the Moor seized her mantle, saying, “Oh, Lady, when I find myself afflicted, I pray you to let me see you.” In fact, she one day promised him this and when Joseph found himself afflicted he invoked her, and Mary appeared to him again saying, “Have patience", and he was consoled.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian.

Let’s keep in touch!