Novena to St. Valentine
Fr. Scott A. Haynes
Pray once a day for nine days, especially starting on February 5
and ending on the eve of St. Valentine's Day, February 14.
O glorious advocate and protector, Saint Valentine, look with pity upon our wants, hear our requests, attend to our prayers, relieve by your intercession the miseries under which we labor, and obtain for us the Divine blessing, that we may be found worthy to join thee in praising the Almighty for all eternity; through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pray, then, O holy Martyr, for the faithful, who are so persevering in celebrating thy memory. The day of Judgment will reveal to us all thy glorious merits. Oh! intercede for us, that we may then be made thy companions at the right hand of the Great Judge, and be united with thee eternally in heaven.
Let us pray:
Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we who solemnize the festival of blessed Valentine, Thy Martyr, may, by his intercession, be delivered from all the evils that threaten us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Mention your intentions here)
V. Saint Valentine, advocate and protector,
R. Pray for us.
Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be
About St. Valentine
Saint Valentine was a 3rd-century Roman saint, commemorated in Western Christianity on February 14 and in Eastern Orthodoxy on July 6. From the High Middle Ages his Saints' Day has been associated with a tradition of courtly love. He is also a patron saint of Terni, epilepsy and beekeepers.
Saint Valentine was a clergyman – either a priest or a bishop – in the Roman Empire who ministered to persecuted Christians. He was martyred and his body buried at a Christian cemetery on the Via Flaminia on February 14, which has been observed as the Feast of Saint Valentine since 496 AD.
Relics of him were kept in the Church and Catacombs of San Valentino in Rome, which "remained an important pilgrim site throughout the Middle Ages until the relics of St. Valentine were transferred to the church of Santa Prassede during the pontificate of Nicholas IV."
His skull, crowned with flowers, is exhibited in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome; other relics of him were taken to Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland, where they remain; this house of worship continues to be a popular place of pilgrimage, especially on Saint Valentine's Day, for those seeking love.
It is piously held St. Valentine defied the order of the emperor Claudius and secretly performed Christian weddings for couples, allowing the husbands involved to escape conscription into the pagan army. This legend claims that soldiers were sparse at this time, so this was a big inconvenience to the emperor. The account mentions that in order "to remind these men of their vows and God’s love, Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment", giving them to these persecuted Christians, a possible origin of the widespread use of hearts on St. Valentine's Day
Frank Staff, The Valentine & Its Origins, 1969, Frederick A. Praeger.