Tomorrow is St. Valentine’s Day!
It is the day that we celebrate and remember a priest who was martyred for his faith. St. Valentine was a priest in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Emperor Claudius was also known as “Claudius the Cruel” and devoted his reign to long and bloody wars. Emperor Claudius noticed that it was increasingly difficult to get soldiers to join his military. He believed that the men were reluctant to fight because they did not want to leave their wives and families. A simple solution for Emperor Claudius was to ban all engagements and marriages in Rome. St. Valentine strongly disagreed with Claudius and he defied the emperor by continuing to perform marriages in secret. Eventually, St. Valentine’s actions were made known to the emperor and Claudius ordered him to be put to death. St. Valentine was arrested and brought before the Prefect of Rome where he was beaten to death and beheaded on February 14, around the year 270 A.D.
A legend concerning St. Valentine is that while he was in jail, he became friends with his jailer’s daughter. He left her a note saying goodbye to her and signed it “From Your Valentine.”
It is so important to remember why we celebrate this man. We celebrate him because of his love and faithfulness to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We remember him for his willingness to stand for righteousness in the midst of evil and persecution.
So have fun with those around you! Give flowers or candy or notes of love. Do all that you would normally do but remember why and give thanks for such a powerful model of how we should live our lives!
St. Valentine’s Day Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Red food coloring or beetroot powder
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and extracts. Sift flour, soda, and cream of tartar together. Add to butter mixture. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill overnight. Roll out and cut into heart shapes. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Divide the confectioner's sugar into bowls, depending on however many shades of pink you want. Add varying amounts of coloring to the bowls. Add just enough milk to each bowl to make a thick, spreadable icing.