Contrary to public belief, the origin and figure that inspired the present wasted, worldly celebration of “Valentine’s Day”, has in fact no relation whatsoever with the Priest-Martyr and Bishop of Terni named Valentinus, nor with the Presbyter Valentine who martyred in Rome (41 – 54 A.D.), a City which was then just another Canonical Member (amongst equals) of the Body of Christ and had been given no honourary leadership jurisdiction.
The figure who actually inspired this secular day was a 17th century “revolutionary” who later became a Roman Catholic monk, and who became known for his fervent fondness in matchmaking singles, and assisting couples in their romances, regardless of prospect or aim, serious or casual.
In vast contrast, for Orthodox believers there is no such thing, as the commerce-driven, profit-centred, Secular and purely Papal “St Valentine’s Day!” It should not be followed and any adherence is considered not only a decline from Truth but a betrayal of the Holy Spirit as the Source of All Holiness.
The western monk “Valentine” of the 17th century is not even a “saint” of Orthodoxy, nor a “Saint” in the eyes of God. He is a pseudo “saint” of Papism, a counterfeit “saint” of Ecumenism. Ecumenism is a Movement of Pan-Religion of Satan. This cunning crowd of blasphemy and deception, aims to establish the New World Order “church” by an ungodly Union of all religions in one common agreement for common sacraments and common worship. The Ecumenical Movement and its evil assembly, the World Council of “churches” (always in talking marks and lower case “c” = W.C.”c” because this plural is blasphemous and overthrows the Eternal Divine Truth of “ONE CHURCH” as canonised and dogmatised by the 1st Ecumenical Council 325A.D.) comprises of a diabolical blend of heresies and deceptions.
Some of these Heresies are the “Filioque” (that the Holy Spirit also proceeds from the Son), Papal Infallibility and Papal Supremacy etc. Yet, Papism had been officially condemned as Heresy (NOT a “church”) by tenths of Holy Orthodox Councils under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.
Heresy cannot produce saintliness nor can blasphemy bring forth holiness. This is not to say that God does not look at the heart of individuals and their intent, but we must remember that, “What agreement is there between Christ and Velial (the devil)? What does a (true, Orthodox) believer have in common with an unbeliever?” (2 Corinthians 6: 15). Nothing in common at all. When the Truth of God is being distorted, then there are no common grounds for agreement nor any ungodly communion to be carried out in the name of “love”.
“Loveology” violates Theology and corrupts Chrsistology. Christ-God is Love. But He is also Truth. Love is lived in truth and Truth is rendered in love. Love does not override Truth nor is shown and shared at the expense of Truth. As Orthodox Faithful, we remain faithful to Truth and cannot sacrifice Truth in the name of love. We love all humans and respect all religions but we cannot allow their twisted dogmas to shatter in thousands of pieces the Oneness of our Church and violate Biblical Truth, under the political pretext of love. This type of love is not only politically incorrect but Biblically incorrect.
“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the Truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the Head (of our Church): Christ! (not the Patriarch, not the Pope!) (Ephesians 4:14-15).
The Holy Trinity is the Exclusive Source of all Holiness and Divine Distributor of all Saintliness. The “Spirit of Truth” does not inhabit in lies. He does not dwell in deception. Yes, “the Holy Spirit blows where He pleases” (John 3, 8), but heresy does not please Him at all! (Psalm 50).
The Holy Spirit is never obliged to serve any “infallible” demands by Popes sitting “ex cathedra” = on their supreme thrones nor submits to any Ecumenist Patriarchs who adulterate God’s Truth, trespass Dogma, despise the Authority of the Holy Apostles and Holy Fathers and proceed with evil pride in sanctifying certain impious persons by force, such as Valentine, or “pseudo bishops” (this term is not my own but attributed by Saint Photios the Great and the Holy Fathers of the First-Second Apostolic Council in the 15th Canon) such as the pseudo “saint” Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Smyrna who was explicitly a Paganist as well as a proven and declared Mason! He is the patron “saint” of Ecumenists. A huge blasphemy in itself!
In fact, it is a huge deception based on mammoth evil pride, to even assume that the Holy Spirit would “stoop down” and be preoccupied with the love affairs of people, in all their differing kinds of colours, shades and shapes; (triangles, pentagons and octagons…) diverse erotic advances, sexual pursuits and expressions of sinful desire, fulfilment of passions and lusts, serving the millions of flowers to be sold, the costly gifts to be exchanged and the billions of dollars to be made… In extent, the god of mamona (money) to be glorified!
We Orthodox do not need a special day to demonstrate our love and affection, to express our gratefulness and appreciation of others. Every day for us Orthodox Christians, is and should be a Day of the manifestation of Christ’s love.
What can be done? Are we able to abolish such pre-dominating, widely-spread, worldly, cheap, shallow and futile feast? Certainly not!
What we can do is constantly inform Orthodox believers so they are not deceived. We can and should refuse to follow “traditions of men” and re-instate, re-introduce the Sacred Traditions of Christ, the Holy Orthodox Traditions of the Holy Fathers. “Beware so that no one enslaves you through philosophy and empty deceit based on traditions of men, based on the elementary forces of the world (demons), and not based on Christ.” – (Col. 2: 8).
Orthodoxy refuses to conform to this world’s demands and deceptions. An Orthodox Believer denies his sinful self and the world, refuses to submit to secularism, denies all lust, leisure and pleasures of this world, rejecting its arrogance, falseness and cunningness. Orthodoxy does not become the world, but transforms the world and sanctifies it through an extremely cautious and discerning coexistence regarding locality and district.
Yet we do not co-exist sacramentally or dogmatically in common prayer or common worship. Although we peacefully coexist, “if we see the Faith being corrupted, we do not chose peace at the expense of Truth but stand courageously till death without ever betraying the Truth in any instance! Therefore do not ever accept any corrupt dogma under the excuse of love!” (Saint John Chrysostom, On the Romans, Homily 22, 2 PG 60, 611).
The Orthodox Faith is under persecution and war. There is “good war” and “evil peace”. Saint Gregory the Theologian states: “It is better to be at praiseworthy war than a peace which separates from God!” (Apologetic Homily 82, ‘ΕΠΕ’ Greek Fathers of the Church 1, 17615).
We strive, stand up and fight to maintain at all cost our Orthodox Christian identity unadulterated, pure from every xenomania = a maniac observance and possessed adherence to foreign feasts, customs etc.
Such foreign feast, having intruded from the West, is this supposed “St Valentine’s Day”. The world has every right to celebrate any feast they want. We have no desire in taking away people’s unalienable rights. But we have rights too, and if we want others to respect our rights, we need to first value our rights, follow our sacred traditions and promote them. We have our own Feasts. They are in fact unchangeable, non-negotiable and unbeatable!
In reality, the Orthodox Church does have its own specially designated “Day of Love”, although everyday is ought to be a day of giving God’s love in Truth. The only true love is the love that is based on Christ’s Love (always with Capital “L”), supported on His Unadulterated Truth, bonded by His Holy Cross and shared in His Holy forgiveness. Any other love that is not Christ-centred, is human-centred, trivial and a passing scheme of this world…
The Orthodox “St Valentine’s Day” is outstandingly the 13th of February. On this Day we celebrate the memory of Saints Aquillas and Priscilla, the Holy Apostles (“Apostles”, a very honorary title indeed), who were one of the greatest and closest helpers of Apostle Paul. They are exceptionally and marvellously mentioned in Romans 16: 3-5:
“Embrace Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus, who were willing to sacrifice their own lives for my life! To whom not only I give thanks, but also all the (local) churches of the Nations! Likewise greet their Home-Church.”
Aquillas and Priscilla were that famous! They were so beloved by everyone! And Apostle Paul mentions Priscilla first, not as a mere gesture of kindness or flattery, but out of great recognition of her value and worth, her great humility and extraordinary virtue, her great honour that is rightfully due! Priscilla touched the hearts of all believers and non-believers too.
Aquillas and Priscilla were a married couple of Pontian Jewish descent who resided in Corinth. Their occupation was the construction of tents and various dwellings. They were very humble, caring, giving, and certainly not money-centred.
Their focus was on assisting those who were in need and were dedicated in charitable deeds. They both had a highly cultivated “phronema” (= mindset, character and behaviour) which was rich in personal gifts and strongly bonded with love and dedication to one another and to their work.
After visiting Corinth, Apostle Paul met Aquillas and Priscilla through the Most Wise guidance and Divine Grace of God. He was deeply delighted and totally overwhelmed by their love and concern, especially their great undying thirst and genuine interest for Jesus Christ and His Proper Worship, the Path, the Truth, the Life which they confessed fearlessly and shamelessly to all regions, peoples, rulers and authorities.
Aquillas and Priscilla followed Apostle Paul in the rest of his journeys. They stood by him like no other believer! They feared no one and were not afraid of losing their very own lives for Apostle Paul’s sake. This love for Apostle Paul was in extent for Jesus Christ. When we, the Orthodox love and honour our Saints, this precise love and honour extends and conveys to Jesus Christ Himself Who gave us these Saints as firm, relative intercessors and examples.
Their love for Jesus Christ was heart-piercing and splendidly inspirational. They were the most beloved personalities, the most adorable souls. Who? A married couple! Aquillas and Priscilla! A unique couple who were so much in love with each other, and with the Orthodox Apostolic Faith, that they denied the comfort of their very own home, their privacy, their rights to leisure, pleasure and travel.
Although they were married, they transformed their Home into a living glorious Temple of Bethlehem. They called it the “Home-Church” and lived as if they lived on Holy Mount Athos, by the blessed trifold: Fasting, all-night vigils and prayer! They practiced and proved that it is not the place that holds weight, but the way you live. They confessed the Orthodox Apostolic Way!
They loved Jesus Christ so much, that He in turn gifted them with the Highest, Utmost Gift and Heavenly Fruit of the Holy Spirit: MARTYDOM!!!
They were later arrested and beheaded as a great danger and threat to the Roman Empire and to the Jewish Synagogue! Their names were indelible to millions of hearts of believers and were highly venerated for many centuries.
How sad it is that today’s Youth knows nothing about them and that many Orthodox Church Leaders do not teach their remarkable and inspiring lives to us. Unfortunately, the 13th February passes un-noticed…
The joyous and moving fact is, that the Church of Greece has officially appointed the 13th of February, being the actual Day of Aquillas and Priscilla’s Martyrdom, as the Legitimate Orthodox “Valentine’s Day” symbolising their great, true love and devotion, in sacred contrast and divine opposition to the profane, secular, vain and futile feast that follows on the 14th.;
May Saints Aquillas and Priscilla pray for us and assist us in our Orthodox exposition of Love In Truth!
Apolytikion 4th Tone.
Having loved Christ and being enlightened in the mind,
having been united in the Orthodox Faith and a modest married life,
they were leaders of their Home-Church,
co-workers and protectors of Apostle Paul the Illuminator.
Therefore let us honour them and imitate them.