Valentine’s Day and Memorial of Saints Cyril and Methodius

As the New Year feel of January wears off and February brings us Valentine’s Day, it is a time to reflect on how we think about love and its role in our lives. How can those who are celebrating look at their celebration from another perspective? How can those who want the day to be invisible see their lives from another perspective?

The answer is contained in God’s word to us. Whoever we are, we are first loved by God at the moment of conception in our mother’s womb. “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”—Jeremiah 3. This love remains a constant in our lives. The truth is: God’s love is our first valentine. So, whether we celebrate openly or desire the day to fall off the calendar, we can all celebrate God’s love on Valentine’s Day. We do this by reflecting on his word to each of us individually.

A Call to Love

Valentine’s Day is special for those in marriages where there is a mutually enriching relationship. It is also special for couples who are dating or engaged. And, it is special for dear friends. A day for gifting with candy, flowers, loving cards, enjoyable times together and dinners. But some people would like to ignore Valentine’s Day: recent widows and widowers, those living together who are estranged, those struggling as single mothers or fathers or anyone because of age, depression or infirmity who feels alone. Let us reach out to all as we celebrate the memorial of Saints Cyril and Methodius who showed much love and preached the gospel in Moravia, modern day Czech Republic, Slovakia, and parts of Hungary.

Valentine’s Message

This is the message that we Christians are called to spread every day, through our witness. Proclaim it yourselves, as you exercise your ministry enthusiastically, certain that nothing can be lacking in those who put their trust in him. Bear witness to Christ through the joyful and consistent practice of the evangelical counsels, indicating where our true homeland lies in Heaven. And you, dear young people, dear lay faithful, dear families, based on the firm foundation of faith in Christ whatever plans you have for your family, for work, for school, for activities in every sphere. Jesus never abandons his friends. He assures us of his help. For nothing can be done without him. But he asks everyone to make a personal commitment to spread his universal message of love and peace.


[Readings: Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10; Mk 8:14-21]

Fr. Nnaemeka Paschal Ajuka

Fr. Nnaemeka Paschal Ajuka, PhD., BCC., ACPE Certified Educator Candidate, is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Umuahia, Nigeria, and a Board-Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC). He is a retreat preacher who loves his faith. As a sociologist, he cherishes and operates from the vertical and horizontal relationships with God and neighbor. He takes Saint Francis of Assisi’s prayer for peace “Lord make me an Instrument of Peace,” as his ministry mission statement. He is a care provider who meets human needs without discrimination. He has been actively involved in the pastoral ministry in parishes in Nigeria and in the US. Previously, he was an adjunct lecturer at Seat of Wisdom Major Seminary Umuahia and the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Nigeria. Currently, he is a Certified Educator Candidate with the Department of Chaplaincy Services and Education, University of California Health, Davis, Sacramento.

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