MONDAY     February 14, 2000    vol. 11, no. 31    SECTION TWO

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SECTION TWO Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • Origins of Valentine's Day
  • SIMPLY SHEEN on the Ecstasy of Love
  • Daily LITURGY
  • Daily WORD
  • Events that happened this day in Church History
  • Monthly Medjugorje Message for January
  • Be an angel! Help keep the DailyCATHOLIC on-line reaching as many souls as possible!


  • The Origins of Valentine's Day

        Many forget where Valentine's Day began. They fail to realize its origins stem from the saint of the name - Saint Valentine, the early martyr of the Church who upheld the Sacrament of Marriage as so sacred and encouraged young Christian couples to stay true to their vows no matter the temptations or persecutions. For more, see Origins of Valentine's Day

    The Origins of Valentine's Day

         There are many myths about the origin of St. Valentine's Day, but there are also facts substantiating that it was established as a Church feast to counteract a Roman pagan feast. When Saint Valentine was jailed by Claudius, the children of the martyred parents, relatives and friends sent him notes of love and encouragement.

          Other historians report that Valentine willingly married young Christian couples even though the Roman authorities forbid it, but Valentine believed it was important to perpetuate life through the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony and procreation as God intended so Christianity could spread from the seeds of the martyrs. Another claim on its roots was that many pastors and bishops demanded it to counter the Roman pagan feast on February 15th of the goddess Februata Juno. On that day the emphasis was on the heathen practice of boys picking the names of girls through a drawing with the outcome being they could do anything lewd and obscene they wished on that feast.

          Thus the Church unofficially, at first, established St. Valentine's Day to emphasize the virtue of marital love and courtship. From the fourth century on the Church acknowledged St. Valentine's Day on February 14th and in the middle ages, the custom of sending cards or "Valentines" began from the medieval belief that birds, returning from the winter refuge, began pairing on that day. St. Valentine was a Roman priest and a physician who assisted Saint Marius (another Roman saint who was displaced by ordinary time) in ministering to the physical and spiritual and assisting the many martyrs persecuted under the reign of the vindictive Roman emperor Claudius II, who incarcerated Valentine and made every cruel effort to get the saint to forsake his faith. Valentine would have none of it and thus Claudius ordered the loyal priest be beaten with heavy clubs and beheaded. He was executed on February 14th, 270 and buried on the Flaminian Way, where seventy years later Pope Julius I decreed a basilica be built in his honor.

          Research by Church historians uncovered the fact Valentine was also the bishop of Terni, sixty miles from Rome, but held his priestly duties above any exalted office in order to better reach the people. The gate leading to the church that was completed in 350 was called Porta Valentini. Most of his relics reside in the Church of Saint Praxedes.


    Pilgrimage toward the Ecstasy of Love

       They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".

    "Too many husbands and wives expect their partners in marriage to give what only God can give: eternal ecstasy. Yet if any man or woman could do that, he would be God. We are right to want the ecstasy of love; but if we expect to enjoy it through the flesh, which is merely on pilgrimage to God, we prepare ourselves for disappointment. The first ecstasy of love is not an illusion; but it is only a kind of travel folder, a foretaste, a preview, urging body and soul to start the journey towards eternal joys. If the first ecstasy passes, this change is not an invitation to love another person, but to love in another way - and the other way is Christ's way, the way of Him Who said: 'I am the Way.'"

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    DAILY LITURGY    Today is the Feast of Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, brothers who are considered the "Apostles of the Slavs" and tomorrow we observe the Sixth Tuesday in Ordinary Time. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and profiles on these two saints, see DAILY LITURGY.

    Monday, February 14, 2000

      Monday February 14:
      Feast of Saint Cyril and Methodius, "Apostles of the Slavs"
      Valentines Day

      White vestments

        First Reading: James 1: 1-11
        Responsorial: Psalm 119: 67-68, 71-71, 75-76
        Gospel Reading: Mark 8: 11-13

    Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius - "Apostles of the Slavs"
          The Apostles to the Slavs - Saints Cyril and Methodius were brothers born in Thessalonica, Greece. Methodius was 12 years older than Cyril but it was Cyril who became a priest first. Shortly after Cyril's ordination, Methodius, who had been governor of a Slav province, became a monk. It was in 862 when the prince of Moravia called for missionaries who could speak the Slavic language to preach to his subjects. Cyril and Methodius were selected and they adapted well, translating Sacred Scripture into the native language and establishing a Slavic alphabet which, to this day, is still called Cyrillic in honor of the saint. Even in those days there were jealousies within the Church and many in the Latin rite criticized the two saints for their method of inculturation. Yet the papacy has always defended these two pillars of the Church from Pope Adrian II to Pope John Paul II who pronounced in his apostolic letter Slavorum Apostoli that the fruits of these two co-patrons of Eastern Europe were an outstanding contribution to the common Christian foundation of Europe. St. Cyril died in Rome on February 14, 869 and his remains are buried below the basilica of St. Clement. St. Methodius survived his brother by 16 years, and drew strength from God in single-handedly fending off the Latin rite opposition, especially the German bishops who were successful in getting Pope John VIII to suspend Methodius' influence and the use of the Slavic language in the Liturgy for a time. However, when Methodius died in 885, his funeral was celebrated in both the Greek and Latin rites as well as the Slavic Liturgy.

    Tuesday, February 15, 2000

        First Reading: James 1: 12-18
        Responsorial: Psalm 94: 12-15, 18-19
        Gospel Reading: Mark 8: 14-21

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    The DAILY WORD

    "And sighing deeply in spirit, He said, 'Why does this generation demand a sign? Amen I say to you, a sign shall not be given to this generation.'"

    Mark 8: 12

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    Events that happened today in Church History

      On this date 870 years ago in 1130 Pope Innocent II became the 165th successor of Peter. His thirteen year pontificate was wrought with turmoil in clashes with the various factions but it was the Saxons who rescued him and Lothario of Saxony personally escorted him back into Rome after he had been forced to flee and showed great humility in recognizing Innocent as the Sovereign Pontiff. Once back in Rome Pope Innocent convened the Tenth Ecumenical Council in 1139 at the Lateran whereby the papal schism was ended with various antipopes and reforms passed. For other time capsule events that happened in Church history on this date, see MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

    Historical Events in Church Annals for February 14:

    • 269 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Valentine, Bishop of Terni and Martyr who was imprisoned for aiding those going to their martyrdom. He had gathered a large following of faithful who followed his virtuous acts and emulated his courage by submitting as well to martyrdom for their faith. Valentine, said to have sent "love" letters on Christ to his people, converted his jailers in the same manner Saint Paul did. This infuriated the emperor Claudius who had him beaten with heavy and sharp clubs, then beheaded. His cult has survived the test of time and yet, today, he is more well-known in secular circles than ecclesiastical ones. Also see The Origins of Valentine's Day

    • 422 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Abraham, a Syrian hermit who was appointed Bishop of Charres. Through his pastoral care, many in that Mesopotamian region converted to Christianity. He died on this date while visiting the emperor in Constantinople who ordered great pomp and circumstance for his funeral, donning one of Abraham's stoles to show his esteem.

    • 473 A.D.
    • Death of Saint Auxentius of Bithynia, another Syrian hermit who spent much of his time in austere penance and prayer. He left his hermitage to plead his innocence against charges of heresy at the Council of Chalcedon. Once exonerated, he returned to his hermitage where scores of followers flocked to him and he formed religious communities for both men and women.

    • 869 A.D.
    • Death of Saints Cyril and Methodius, "Apostles to the Slavs." For more, see DailyLITURGY.

    • 1613 A.D.
    • Death of Saint John Garcia, Religious Founder of the Discalced Trinitarians. Known as Padre Juan Baptiste de Concepcion and like other founders before and after him, he had to deal with fierce opposition launched by those who resisted reform. When he died on this date, however, his reform movement had proved quite successful, numbering 34 religious institutions that had enforced his reforms.

    • 1014 A.D.
    • Pope Benedict VIII crowns the king of Germany Henry II as Holy Roman Emperor.

    • 1076 A.D.
    • Pope Saint Gregory VII, the holy monk known as Hildebrand and the 157th successor of Peter, excommunicates the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. Henry would repent and show his sincerity by wearing only a rough habit and brave the freezing cold of the mountain regions of Canossa to ask forgiveness in person. Though he would revert to his rebellious ways later.

    • 1130 A.D.
    • Cardinal Gregario Papareschi is elected Pope Innocent II, 164th successor of Peter. He would hardly be elected when he would be forced to flee Rome because of the rival Pierleoni Family which elected their favorite son Cardinal Pietro Pierleoni as the antipope Anacletus II on the same day as Innocent's selection. Lothario of Saxony, a bitter enemy of the Pierleoni clan would secure the city allowing Innocent to return to Rome. Innocent would call the Tenth Ecumenical Council or Lateran II in 1139 which would end the papal schism and enact reforms.

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    January 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

    NOTE: We respectfully recognize and accept the final authority regarding apparitions, locutions and prophecies presently being reported around the world rests with the Holy See of Rome and the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church to whose judjment we humbly and obediently submit.

      "Dear children! I call you, little children, to pray without ceasing. If you pray, you are closer to God and He will lead you on the way of peace and salvation. That is why I call you today to give peace to others. Only in God is there true peace. Open your hearts and become those who give a gift of peace and others will discover peace in you and through you and in this way you will witness God's peace and love which He gives you. Thank you for having responded to my call."

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    February 14, 2000     volume 11, no. 31
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