The world goes red for St. Valentine
• Cleric warns against wild celebration
Today is February 14, the famed days for lovers, known across the world as Valentine’s Day. Surprisingly, a court in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, has banned the celebration of Valentines because it successfully argued that the Val’s Day has no part in Muslim culture, directing the media not to cover any Valentine-related event.
That is not happening here. Even in spite of the ongoing economic downturns in the country, it is still a day lovers across the country are looking forward to. However, Pastor Charles Abiola of Christ Land Ministry, Sango, Ilorin, has warned Nigerians against wild celebration of Valentine on February 14.
Abiola gave the warning on Sunday in Ilorin, Kwara State capital in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). He said the country’s present situation did not demand elaborate celebration.
He said Valentine should be a time to celebrate the loved ones, but in Nigeria’s situation, it should be on a low key, as things are not working well as expected of the country.
”Nigeria is facing an economic down-turn and many things are wrong with the country. We should rather celebrate our loved ones in form of sober reflection. Every Nigerian should know this is not the time to make merry, rather we should use the opportunity to pray to God for divine intervention,” he said.
He advised the youths not to over -celebrate as they had turned Valentine’s Day to a day to practise immoral things and get out of control by engaging in adultery, drinking and smoking different kinds of hard drugs.
The pastor advised parents, pastors and imams to warn their children and followers against flirting around on valentine day and do things in Godly way.
The cleric said St. Valentine was known to be a ‘philanthropist’ and a lover of everybody around him and therefore, deserved his famous hype from every path of the world, saying February 14 date was widely celebrated in the world.
The history of Valentine’s Day, and the story of its patron saint, is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?
The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men.
Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.