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Lara Neri

Akathist Art

214.422.5060

lara@akathist.com

Original Fine Art.   Hand-painted Iconography. 

 Feast Day Resources. ideas for at home & abroad.

St. Valentine

14 February, Patron of Relationships & Happy Marriages

On this day...

- We give valentines to friends & family. We often make our own, but you can also download & print some Catholic valentines here

- We pray the Litany of the Love of God & the Troparion.

- We read about St. Valentine & his sacrificial love for others.

We celebrate the gift of a happy marriage, & pray for ours to grow in Christ.

With our children, we pray the Prayer for a Good Husband or Wife

Litany of the the Love of God

Lord have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. 
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father in heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.


Thou Who art Infinite Love,
I love Thee, O my God. *


Thou Who didst first love me, *
Thou Who commandest me to love Thee, *
With all my heart,*
With all my soul, *
With all my mind, *
With all my strength, *
Above all possessions and honors, *
Above all pleasures and enjoyments, *
More than myself and all that belongs to me, *
More than all my relatives and friends, *
More than all men and angels, *
Above all created things in heaven or on earth, *
Only for Thyself, *
Because Thou art the sovereign Good, *
Because Thou art infinitely worthy of being loved, *
Because Thou art infinitely perfect, *
Even hadst Thou not promised me heaven, *
Even hadst Thou not menaced me with hell, *
Even shouldst Thou try me by want and misfortune, *
In wealth and in poverty, *
In prosperity and in adversity, *
In health and in sickness, *
In life and in death, *
In time and in eternity, *
In union with that love wherewith all the Saints and all the Angels love Thee in heaven, *
In union with that love wherewith the Blessed Virgin Mary loveth Thee, *
In union with that infinite love wherewith Thou lovest Thyself eternally, *


Let us pray: 

My God, Who dost possess in incomprehensible abundance all that is perfect and worthy of love, annihilate in me all guilty, sensual, and undue love for creatures: kindle in my heart the pure flame of Thy love, so that I may love nothing but Thee or in Thee, until, being entirely consumed by holy love of Thee, I may go to love Thee eternally with the elect in Heaven, the country of pure love. Amen.

Troparion (Tone 4)
Thou hast become like the Apostles in their states, a successor to their throne, finding indeed the intelligential ladder, O thou God-inspired. Therefore, thou hast followed the Word of God in righteousness, and striven unto blood for the Faith. O Martyr among Priests, Saint Valentine, intercede with Christ God to save our souls.

"Now a commercialized holiday celebrating modern Western courtship and romance, the ancient Christian origins of Saint Valentine’s Day are largely forgotten.  The actual Orthodox liturgical Feast Days of Valentinos (Greek)/Valentinus (Latin) commemorate two Early Christian saints, Saint Valentine the Presbyter of Rome (July 6) and Hieromartyr Valentine the Bishop of Intermna (Terni), Italy (July 30).  Although the historical records for these two saints are not complete, and what we do know about their lives has often been subjected to considerable confusion, their martyrdoms are well known to us.  Because of their refusal to renounce their faith in Christ, both Valentines were imprisoned, tortured, and executed around 270, during the persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperor, Claudius II.

Because they shared the same name, were contemporaries, resided near each other in central Italy, and ultimately, shared similar fates, the two Valentines’ personal histories were intermingled and conflated over the centuries, producing inconsistencies and puzzlement in many accounts of their lives.  What most sources indicate, however, is that Bishop Valentine was renowned during his lifetime as a healer of the sick and blind, while Valentine the Presbyter would become notable in the historical memory of Christians, originally both Eastern and Western, as a courageous steward of marriage.  Indeed, because of his connection to the sacrament of marriage, it would be the latter Valentine, the Presbyter from Rome, who would serve as the inspiration for the Late Medieval Western literary foundations for what would by the nineteenth century evolve into today’s popular, secular Valentine’s Day.

According to the most common narrative, Presbyter Valentine, a priest in Rome, drew the ire of Emperor Claudius by ignoring the imperial ban against allowing men who had not fulfilled their military obligations to the Empire to marry.  Remaining loyal to his moral commitment and beliefs as a Christian priest, Valentine refused to compromise the sanctity of marriage to the will of the state.  In defiance of imperial edict, Valentine continued to unite and bless Christian couples, which were legally barred from marrying.  This association with young Christian beloveds became the muse over several centuries for an increasingly fictionalized, romantic expropriation and reconstruction of Saint Valentine in the West, one that has led to the modern Saint Valentine’s Day.  Indeed, the memory of Saint Valentine became so distorted and uncertain over the centuries, that the Roman Catholic Church ended its commemoration and veneration—traditionally associated with mid-February in the West—of him as a calendar saint in 1969, effectively surrendering the historical Valentine to his appropriation and exploitation by Western popular culture."

"The Hieromartyr Bishop Valentine and his three disciples, Proculus, Ephebus and Apollonius, and the righteous Abundius lived during the third century. Saint Valentine was a bishop in Umbria (Italy), in the city of Interamna. He received from God the gift of healing various maladies.

At this time three pagan youths, Proculus, Ephebus and Apollonius, came from Athens to Rome to study.They found a tutor named Craton, and lived in his home. Craton’s son Cherimon fell grievously ill, and his spine was so contorted that his head was bent down to his knees. Craton asked Bishop Valentine to help his sick son.

The holy bishop went into the sick child’s room and prayed fervently all night. When day came, the happy parents saw their son had been healed. They believed in Christ and were baptized with all their household.

Craton’s students, Proculus, Ephebus and Apollonius were also baptized and became devoted disciples of Saint Valentine. The bishop’s fame quickly spread, and many were converted to Christ. Among them was the city prefect’s son, Abundius, who openly confessed himself a Christian. This was a bold thing to do, since paganism prevailed in the world, and Christianity was persecuted.

The wrath of the prefect and other city leaders fell upon Bishop Valentine, the teacher of the youths. They demanded that he renounce Christ and worship the idols.

After much torture they threw him into prison, where his followers visited him. Learning of this, the prefect gave orders to take Valentine out of the prison and behead him. Saint Valentine’s students Proculus, Ephebus, and Apollonius took the body of their teacher and carried it to the city of Interamnum, where they buried it.

Both believers and pagans were drawn to them, and they converted many idolaters to the true Faith. When the authorities heard about this, they arrested the youths and threw them in prison. Fearing that people might break the sufferers out of prison, the executioners beheaded them by night.

Abundius, learning that his friends had been locked in prison, hastened to see them, but found that they had already been executed. He buried their bodies near the grave of holy Bishop Valentine."

Prayer for a Good Husband or Wife

O Jesus, lover of the young and the dearest Friend I have, in all confidence I open my heart to You to beg Your light and assistance in resigning my future to Your will. Give me the light of Your grace, that, if I am called to the married state of life, I may decide wisely concerning the person who is to be my partner through life. Dear God, you created us male & female, that we might, through the union of marriage, help one another grow closer to you & accept the gift of children. In this way, earthly marriage is an echo of the life-giving love of the Most Holy Trinity, and of Your relationship to us, Your Church. Dearest Jesus, send me someone whom in Your divine wisdom You judge best suited to be united with me in marriage. May her/his character reflect Your own Sacred Heart. May s/he be upright, loyal, pure, sincere and noble, so that with united efforts and with pure and unselfish love we both may strive to perfect ourselves in soul and body, as well as the children it may please You to entrust to our care. Bless our friendship before marriage, that sin may have no part in it. Give us the gift of laughter together. May our mutual love bind us so closely, that our future home may ever be most like Your own at Nazareth.

Theotokos Eleusa, sweet Mother of the young, to your special care I entrust the decision I am to make as to my future wife/husband. You are my guiding Star! Direct me to the person with whom I can best cooperate in doing God's Holy Will, with whom I can live in peace, love and harmony in this life, with the eternal joys in the next always in mind.

St. Valentine, pray for my future wife/husband, wherever s/he is right now, that at this moment s/he will be aware of the love of Christ & fall more deeply in love with Him. 

Amen.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 c. almond flour

4 oz. cream cheese, softened 

large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

Butter, for frying and serving

DIRECTIONS

- In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, cream cheese, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.

- In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Pour in about 3 tablespoons batter and cook until golden, 2 minutes. Flip and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter.

  1. Serve topped with butter.

St. Valentine Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Bacardi Razz (white rum optional)

  • 1 ounce simple syrup

  • 1/2 lime , freshly squeezed

  • 12 to 14 fresh mint leaves

  • 4 raspberries

  • 4 blackberries

  • Sprig of mint

Directions

In a tall glass, lightly muddle the lime juice, 3 raspberries, 3 blackberries, simple syrup and mint leaves. The trick is to muddle just enough to release the oils from the mint leaves while leaving them intact. Add crushed ice and rum, and top with soda. Stir until the outside of the glass begins to frost. Garnish with the leftover berries speared with a mint sprig.

Be Mine Mojito

Make it easier on yourself!

Print off this lovely PDF & add it to your feast day notebook