One of the first “big” feast days since Dave and I committed to living more liturgically is a famous one: St. Valentine’s Day. I’ve always LOVED Valentine’s Day (evidence/some good throwback photos here!) but it unfortunately may be one of the biggest examples of holidays that have strayed from their faith-based roots. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll absolutely be attending a fun Galentine’s Day event in Raleigh (details here if you want to join!) and whipping up a batch of heart-shaped hand pies this weekend, BUT, we also intentionally selected three things we want to do as a couple/family to specifically honor St. Valentine’s feast day.
(A quick note: when I set out to research ideas, I was promptly overwhelmed, so let me put this out there: there are many Catholic bloggers who are much, much more knowledgeable than I am about feast days and liturgical celebrations. My goal is to simply learn as we go and then keep new traditions simple and meaningful so that we actually DO them. I’m not out to share the entire histories of certain traditions or life stories of Saints on Something Pretty, but I’ll try to include a few resources at the bottom of liturgically themed posts, in case anyone is interested in learning more. Okay, moving right along!)
1. Pray the Litany of the Love of God during our evening family prayer time. This prayer was composed by Pope Pius VI and I found it recommended in a list of suggested St. Valentine’s Day prayers. I love the idea of incorporating litanies into our family prayer culture because it’ll be easy for kids to someday repeat the responses! This prayer is beautiful and I think it will be a perfect reminder that we are called to love God above all things.
2. Write each other a love letter. Dave and I have exchanged letters at different times throughout our relationship (especially when we were long distance), but haven’t made it a habit in our marriage. St. Valentine is the patron saint of happy marriages, so we’ve decided that every Valentine’s Day, we’ll exchange love letters. As well as the joy I know it’s sure to bring each of us to receive these letters, I love the idea of looking back on all of our “valentines” after many years have passed!
3. Exchange gifts that will encourage each other in our faith. Gift giving is one of my love languages, but to reorient this tradition, Dave and I decided to choose small gifts for each other that will encourage or inspire one another in our walks with the Lord. A few of my favorite ideas: a Catholic journaling bible, a darling tee, or a gorgeous art print for her; an amazing biography, modern prayer card or candle, or an inspiring documentary on DVD for him.
What are your Valentine’s Day plans? Are you changing anything up (or celebrating early, hand raised!) since it falls on Ash Wednesday this year?
Biography of St. Valentine