February  14. St Valentine’s Day.  One family group did some research about Valentine. “From different legends about St Valentine we believe he was a martyr, a kind man and instrumental in helping couples in love. One legend tells how he arranged for newly married soldiers not to be sent to war. Another tells how he helped young couples facing difficulties to be able to get married.”  “Maybe this encouragement should be taken up, as many couples nowadays choose not to marry,  possibly afraid to make a commitment for better and for worse. Most often Valentine’s Day is about romantic love at all ages, just sentimental feelings even.  Romance is a good and valuable thing and needs to be sustained for a healthy relationship but on its own, surely, that is not sustainable throughout a lifetime.”

Scripture: From Gen chapters 6-7.   The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And he was sorry that he had made them. I will blot out man whom I have created.  But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord.  Then the Lord said, “go into the ark, you and all your household for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. Pope Francis: Pastoral initiatives aimed at helping married couples to grow in love also help their children by preparing them for their future married life. Traditional practices like St Valentine’s Day should not be underestimated. Commercial interests are quicker to see the potential than we are in the Church. AL 208   Reflect, share, act and pray.