This Valentine’s Day, let Christ’s unrequited love be our guiding example of how we should love one another. Jesus tells us to “…love thy neighbor as thyself” as a second commandment after the first and greatest commandment: to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind.

In the early martyrologies, three different St. Valentines are mentioned, all sharing Feb. 14 for a feast day. Unfortunately, the historical record is sparse. The first St. Valentine was a priest and physician in Rome. He comforted the martyrs during the persecution of Emperor Claudius II, the Goth. Eventually, St. Valentine was also arrested and condemned to death for his faith. 

On this Valentine’s Day, looking to the example of this great saint, offer your love to the Lord and your neighbors and remember Jesus’ commandment: “love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:12-13). St. Valentine fulfilled this command, and may we do the same.

If you’d like to demonstrate your Christian love in support of our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land and safeguard their presence, consider visiting the Holy Land on a 10-day pilgrimage led by FFHL President Father Peter Vasko, OFM. During the spring pilgrimage—March 19-29, 2020 you will walk where Jesus walked and visit the Holy Sites of His life. The pilgrimage will take you to many historic sites in the Holy Land including the Cana of Galilee, where Our Lord performed the first miracle  ‐ changing water into wine at the wedding feast. Here, we’ll invite couples to experience a special renewal of their marriage vows. 

You’ll also be blessed by a visit to Bethlehem to see the Nativity Church, built by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century over the traditional grotto of Jesus’ birth. Another sacred highlight is walking along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to visit Golgotha and the Tomb of Our Lord.A pilgrimage with the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land will be a life-changing experience and one that will bless you and your loved ones. For more information, please visit our pilgrimage registration page.

In celebration of the many gifts and blessings for the love of Christ, won’t you consider making a gift to support the mission of the Foundation for the Holy Land?