The Church assigns feast days to saints, generally based on their Dies natalis, or the day they were born into eternal life. This week, our society at large will observe “St. Valentine’s Day.” The memorial for St. Valentine was removed from the Church’s calendar some time ago on account of their not being much known about this saint. It is believed that he was a bishop and was martyred for his faith. On February 14th, the Church actually commemorates the Memorial of Saints Cyril and Methodius, known for their missionary work among the Slavic peoples and for their preparation of Slavic liturgical texts.
Valentine’s Day does, however, mark the end of the U.S. Church’s annual observance of National Marriage Week. This provides a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect on the importance of the Sacrament of Marriage in the Church and the world. In marriage a couple truly “puts out into the deep” as Jesus mentions in today’s Gospel, placing their trust in one another and their faith in God to see them through the tough times as well as the good. As we observe this World Marriage Sunday, let us not fail to pray for those who are married, those who are preparing for marriage, and those who may be having difficulty in their marriage.