Lent begins on St Valentine’s day this year (14th February), a day rather more associated with indulgence and being spoilt, than abstinence and fasting. Little is known about St Valentine, most stories say he was a priest or bishop. While being kept under house arrest by Judge Asterius with whom he discussed his faith in Jesus the judge challenged him to prove Jesus validity by healing his daughter’s blindness. When he did so the judge was baptised, and released Valentine, who was later re-arrested for continuing to proselytise. This time he was sent to Emperor Claudius 11, who initialling took a liking to him, until he tried to convince the emperor to convert to Christianity.
Claudius refused and condemned Valentine to death, unless he renounced his faith. He was executed on 14th Feb 269. Perhaps the story of Valentine, rather than the celebrations of St Valentine’s day may be a good source of reflection during Lent – his faithfulness to Christ even when facing serious oppression, his willingness to share his faith.
If you’d be interested in exploring more about the Christian faith and what it means to be human our Lent study this year uses the film Chocolat to think about 5 themes
giving up – the prelude to change
giving out – the power of a gift
getting wise – the possibility of change
getting real – the power of acceptance, and
growing up – the process of change.
Sessions will be held at the Vicarage (so we can watch clips of the DVD) on Monday mornings 10 -12 or Thursday evenings 7.30 – 9.30. All welcome.