Tag Archives: Romance

February 14 is Saint Valentine’s Day!


Myself

By T. V. Antony Raj

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Valentine's Day gifts

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The feast of Saint Valentine falls on February 14 each year.

Most people in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, and in many countries around the world, celebrate this centuries-old holiday popularly known as Valentine’s Day. In most countries, this remains a working day.

For centuries, people have cherished the month of February as a month for romance that has vestiges of both pagan Roman and Christian traditions.

It was a custom among the pagan Roman youths and maidens to select partners, on February 14. Alban Butler, author of Lives of the Saints has presented an aspect of the Roman Lupercalia as a festival of a “Juno Februata,” under the heading of February 14:

To abolish the heathens’ lewd, superstitious custom of boys drawing the names of girls in honour of their goddess, Februata Juno, on the 15th of the month, several zealous pastors substituted the names of saints in billets given on this day.”

On February 14, lovers exchange sweets, candy, chocolates, flowers and other gifts in the name of a mysterious Christian saint named Valentine. Why mysterious?  No one knows for sure who the real patron saint of the day is! The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different martyred saints named Valentinus.

Whoever he was, Saint Valentine really existed. Archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine. The Catholic Church, however, recognizes at least three different martyred saints named Valentinus.

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Statue of St Valentine, Whitefriar Street Church, Dublin. (Source: shanepedia.wordpress.com)
Statue of St Valentine, Whitefriar Street Church, Dublin. (Source: shanepedia.wordpress.com)

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According to the most popular legend, Valentinus was a holy priest in Rome. With St. Marius and his family, Valentinus helped the martyrs during the persecutions of early Christians. Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young soldiers as he reckoned that single men made better soldiers than those married and having a family.

The holy priest Valentinus thought the emperor’s decree was not just and decided to defy it. He performed marriages for young lovers in secret. Eventually, the Emperor became aware of the marriages performed by the priest, and his ministry among Christians and ordered the arrest of Valentinus. The prefect of Rome, on finding Valentinus not ready to renounce his faith had him beaten with clubs, and then beheaded him on February 14, about the year 269.

Like all other saints, St. Valentine too is said to have performed miracles. The legends say that during his imprisonment Valentinus healed the daughter of his Roman jailer named Asterius and converted 46 members of his family to Christianity. The legends further say that Valentinus fell in love with the girl who visited him during his confinement, and before his execution wrote her a farewell letter and signed it: “From your Valentine.”

Another story states that Valentinus was condemned to death for attempting to help beaten and tortured Christians escape from Roman prisons.

Pope Julius I, built a church near Ponte Mole to honour the martyr. A large part of the saint’s relics is now in the church of St. Praxedes.

In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius marked February 14 to observe the martyrdom of St. Valentine said to have died in 269 AD. So, the Catholics are now celebrating February 14 as the feast day of St. Valentine – patron of love, young people, and happy marriages.

These sombre legends portray Valentinus as a sympathetic, heroic, and a romantic person. In the Middle Ages, as a result of the reputation created as a legendary hero. Valentinus became one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Now, the word “Valentine”, denotes a card or letter expressing one’s love and affection for a person of the opposite sex. Sending a ‘Valentine‘ may also involve flowers, candy, and other gifts.

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Prayer to Saint Valentine

Dear Lord, who art high in the Heavens,
Giver of Love and Passion,
And He who strings the heart’s cords,
Lead the Lovers this day, February ten plus four.
The day during the month of two,
When the date is the perfect number of God
Greater two souls and two hearts.
Some Loves are fleeting,
But that which is built on you will never fail.
So guide the Lovers to know what is to be.
Your truths the Lovers’ mouths should speak,
For Your truth is that which is honest to the heart.
Only this, then, should pass over the red lips of the Lovers.
Your art, the Lovers simply a medium.
It is only with True Hearts that You can create a Masterpiece,
So let the Lovers remember that their Soul’s Desire
Is the one for which You light their Fire.
And let it be You who creates the Art of the Lovers;
The art of two into one.

Amen.

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What I Have Learned (sometimes the hard way)


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I’ve learned- that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned- that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned- that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned- that it’s not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned- that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned- that you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do.

I’ve learned- that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned- that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I’ve learned- that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I’ve learned- that you can keep going long after you can’t.

I’ve learned- that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned- that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I’ve learned- that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

I’ve learned- that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I’ve learned- that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I’ve learned- that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned- that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you’re down will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned- that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned- that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I’ve learned- that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned- that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you’ve had and what you’ve learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned- that you should never tell a child their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. Few things are more humiliating, and what a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I’ve learned- that your family won’t always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren’t related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren’t biological.

I’ve learned- that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I’ve learned- that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you are to learn to forgive yourself.

I’ve learned- that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned- that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I’ve learned- that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned- that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned- that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned- that two people can look at the same thing and see something totally different.

I’ve learned- that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt and you will hurt in the process.

I’ve learned- that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don’t even know you.

I’ve learned- that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned- that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned- that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned- that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people’s feelings and standing up for what you believe.

Re-posted from Bible.com

 

The Legend of Saint Valentinus the Patron Saint of Valentine’s Day


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Myself .

 By T. V. Antony Raj

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Saint Valentinus

On February 14, the Valentine’s Day lovers exchange sweets, candy, chocolates, flowers and other gifts all in the name of St. Valentine, a mysterious saint.

Most people in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, and a few in India, Sri Lanka, Philippines and many countries around the world celebrate the day. However, this centuries-old holiday remains a working day in most of the countries.

February, cherished for centuries as a month for romance contains vestiges of both Christian and pagan Roman traditions. Moreover, no one knows for sure who the real patron saint of the day is. Why? Because the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different martyred saints named Valentinus.

According to the most popular legend, Valentinus was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young soldiers as he reckoned that single men made better soldiers than those married and having wives and children.

Valentinus thought the decree was not just, and he decided to defy the Emperor. He performed marriages for young lovers in secret. Eventually, the Emperor became aware of the marriages performed by the priest, and his ministry among Christians and ordered that Valentinus be put to death.

The legends say that during his imprisonment Valentinus healed the daughter of his jailer named Asterius and converted 46 members of his family to Christianity. He then fell in love with the young girl who visited him during his confinement, and before his execution wrote her a farewell letter and signed it: “From your Valentine.”

Other stories state that Valentinus was condemned to death for attempting to help beaten and tortured Christians escape from Roman prisons.

These murky legends portray Valentinus as a sympathetic, heroic and a romantic person. In the Middle Ages, due to the reputation created as a legendary hero, Valentinus became one of the most popular saints in England and France.

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Pearls of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta


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Myself . 

By T.V. Antony Raj
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Blessed Teresa in the National Shrine, Washington DC
Statue of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington D.C. (Photo: T.V. Antony Raj)

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Anyway

People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

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Deeds

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.”

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”

“God doesn’t require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.”

“Never travel faster than your guardian angel can fly.”

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Dreams

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”

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Forgiving

“I once picked up a woman from a garbage dump and she was burning with fever; she was in her last days and her only lament was: ‘My son did this to me.’

I begged her: ‘You must forgive your son. In a moment of madness, when he was not himself, he did a thing he regrets. Be a mother to him, forgive him.’

It took me a long time to make her say: ‘I forgive my son.’

Just before she died in my arms, she was able to say that with a real forgiveness.

She was not concerned that she was dying. The breaking of the heart was that her son did not want her. This is something you and I can understand.”

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Humbleness

“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.”

“If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.”

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Life

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.”

“A life not lived for others is not a life.”

“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”

“Live simply so others may simply live.”

“Spread the love of God through your life but only use words when necessary.”

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Love

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.”

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.”

“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.”

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

“People are unrealistic, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway.”

“Work without love is slavery.”

“Intense love does not measure, it just gives.”

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

“I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”

“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.”

“Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

“Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God – the rest will be given.”

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

“Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.”

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

“I try to give to the poor people for love what the rich could get for money. No, I wouldn’t touch a leper for a thousand pounds; yet I willingly cure him for the love of God.”

“If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.”

“I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor?”

“Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.”

“Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”

“I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?’”

“God made the world for the delight of human beings– if we could see His goodness everywhere, His concern for us, His awareness of our needs: the phone call we’ve waited for, the ride we are offered, the letter in the mail, just the little things He does for us throughout the day. As we remember and notice His love for us, we just begin to fall in love with Him because He is so busy with us — you just can’t resist Him. I believe there’s no such thing as luck in life, it’s God’s love, it’s His.”

“There is a terrible hunger for love. We all experience that in our lives – the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it. The poor you may have right in your own family. Find them. Love them.”

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Patience

“Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually means less.”

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Poverty

“Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”

“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”

“The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.”

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

“When you don’t have anything, then you have everything.”

“When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her.  It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed. “

“The more you have, the more you are occupied, the less you give. But the less you have the more free you are. Poverty for us is a freedom. It is not mortification, a penance. It is joyful freedom. There is no television here, no this, no that. But we are perfectly happy.”

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Prayer

“Prayer in action is love, love in action is service.”

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”

“If we pray, we will believe; If we believe, we will love; If we love, we will serve.”

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Religion

“There are so many religions and each one has its different ways of following God. I follow Christ:
Jesus is my God,
Jesus is my Spouse,
Jesus is my Life,
Jesus is my only Love,
Jesus is my All in All;
Jesus is my Everything.”

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Sharing

“You and I, we are the Church, no? We have to share with our people. Suffering today is because people are hoarding, not giving, not sharing. Jesus made it very clear. Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me. Give a glass of water, you give it to me. Receive a little child, you receive me.”

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Smile

“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

“Peace begins with a smile..”

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

“The person who gives with a smile is the best giver because God loves a cheerful giver.”

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Speaking

“Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart.”

“Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t only give your care, but give your heart as well.”

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Words

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

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Phrases That Have Just Three Little Words


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj .

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I'll be there
I’ll be there

The most significant messages we offer to each other can be found in phrases that have just three little words. Whenever articulated, those phrases hold the power to forge unique friendships, intensify older ones, as well as help to restore worthwhile relationships, which may have cooled down. The following three-word phrases can certainly improve almost every relationship.

I’LL BE THERE

Let’s look at these two scenarios.

First: Your father is sick. You telephone a friend in the middle of the night, to take him to a hospital.

Second: Your car has broken down some miles away from your home. You telephone a friend and tell him the situation.

How did you feel when you heard these 3 words, “I’ll be there” from the other end?

Being there physically or emotionally for someone is the supreme gift we can easily offer them. With our presence, significant things happen to them as well as to us. We feel refreshed with love and companionship and rejuvenated mentally and spiritually.

COUNT ON ME

A true friend is the one who walks in when others walk out.

Integrity is an essential component of true friendship; it is the emotional adhesive that binds individuals. People rich in their relationships are almost always reliable and true friends. The instant difficulties arise a true friend will be there saying, “You can count on me.”

LET ME HELP

Your best friends can easily sense your needs. If you are adversely affected, they will do whatever for you to get over it. It is your true friends who pitch in and help you without being requested.

I ADMIRE YOU

When you respect a person, it implies you have sincere regard and respect for that person. This is yet another way of affirming your love for that person. Admiration and respect convey the impression that the other person is a true equal. It is truly an excellent way to affirm the importance of a relationship.

If you communicate to your children your admiration for their performance, you will  certainly strengthen the bonds of love and become a close-knit family.

This works for almost all interpersonal relationships.

GO FOR IT

A few of your friends may perhaps be non conformists, have unique ideas, projects, or unusual hobbies. Instead of urging them to conform, encourage their uniqueness. Encourage them in pursuing their interests. Remember that all of us have singular dreams and hopes that not everybody else has.

MAYBE YOU’RE RIGHT

This expression is simple and highly effective in diffusing disagreement, and mending frayed emotions. The opposite of “maybe you’re right” is the humility of admitting “maybe I’m wrong”.

When you have a heated argument with another and don’t change your stance, then you run the risk of seriously damaging the relationship between both of you. Saying, “maybe you’re right” can open the door to explore the subject a bit further, and give you the opportunity to get your view across in a more rational manner.

PLEASE FORGIVE ME

A number of shattered relationships can certainly be renewed and improved if we admit our mistakes and ask forgiveness. Every one of us is susceptible to making mistakes. We should never be ashamed to own our mistakes.

I UNDERSTAND YOU

We tend to become closer, and take more pleasure in each other, when the other person becomes aware that we uttered these genuine words. Letting the others around you know, in a number of modest ways, that you understand them, is truly the most effective method for rejuvenating your relationship.

This is applicable to any kind of relationship.

I THANK YOU

Thankfulness is a great form of courtesy. Those who cherish the companionship of wonderful friends are the ones who don’t need regular courtesies for granted. They are prompt to say thanks to their family and friends for their numerous expressions of kindness. Nonetheless, folks whose circle of friends is significantly confined, oftentimes do not have the attitude of gratitude.

I MISS YOU

How happy will you be if you received an unexpected telephone call during your stressful, hectic workday from your spouse, to say, “I miss you”?

Most likely, more marriages could, in fact, be saved and reinforced, if spouses sincerely said to each other, “I miss you”.

This powerful affirmation conveys to spouses they are, needed, desired and cherished.

I LOVE YOU

These are the most important three words that you can say. These 3 little words are essentially reserved for those who are special to us.

Telling that someone “I love you” satisfies their emotional needs – the need to belong, the need to be wanted, and the need to feel appreciated.

Your family, your friends, and even you too, long to hear these 3 sweet little words said softly and often by someone who really loves you.

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