Saturday, February 14, 2009

St Valentines Day

The relics of St Valentine that I photographed in the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedion in Rome. Note the bouquets of roses around the reliquary. He was either a soldier of a priest beheaded during the reign of the Emperor Aurelian
One of the strange things that the liturgical modernisers did was remove the feast of St Valentine (14 february) from the Roman Calendar. It is even more paradoxical that the feast of St Valentine is more widely celebrated in the secular world and even more commercialised (almost like Easter) than when it was supposedly removed. Thankfully Summorum Pontificum has allowed us again to celebrate this feast. We refer to the Propers of today's Mass in the Extraordinary Form:


Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus,: ut qui beati Valentini Martyris tui natalitia colimus, a cunctis malis imminentibus, ejus intercessione, libereremur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum.....


Suscipe, quaesumus Domine, munera dignanter oblata: et beati Valentini martyris tui suffragantibus meritis, ad nostrae salutis auxilium provenire concede. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum.....


Sit nobis, Domine, reparatio mentis et corporis coeleste mysterium: ut, cujus exsequimur actionem, intercedente beato Valentino Martyre tuo, sentiamus effectum. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum....

Note: We assume that our readers, like ourselves, have a working knowledge of Latin or access to a copy of the Missal of Bl John XXIII, so no you are not going to get a translation.

So to keep some perspective on this feast, if you cannot get to an EF Mass in your local area, celebrate these prayers, and then go out and do something wonderful and spontaneous with the person or people that you love.
Of course St Valentine's day is a Christianisation of the old feast of Lupercal. I will leave it to Hypatia to outline the liturgical practices of that period, none of which made it into the Christian liturgy. Somehow someone decided that was inappropriate to have young men, wearing nothing but leather thongs (not on their feet), running through the basilicas whipping young women.

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