Happy “Say, I Love You, Day”

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St. Valentine did not own a greeting card company. He wasn’t a candy maker or a florist. He was either a bishop martyr (and just try finding a Hallmark card for that occasion) who died in the mid-3rd century, or he was a priest-physician-martyr (ditto the printed candy heart) who died around the same time as the bishop. They were both named Valentine.

Tradition tends toward the physician priest, because it is said that he wrote notes of love and encouragement to fellow Christians who lived in fear of persecution, arrest and death. Some say it was his example that started the custom of love notes sent on this day.

It won’t cost a cent to speak or write messages of love, and you might even get some “I love you, too’s,” in return.

Both Valentines would be astonished to find aisles of Wal-Mart’s across the country bearing their names.

Here at The Catholic Catalogue, we’re urging a return to the original custom. We’re calling it, “Say, I Love You, Day.”

You don’t need to be in a relationship to keep the memorial of St. Valentine. Pick up the phone and tell a friend, “I love you.” Drop a card off at a neighbor’s house that says, “I love having you as a neighbor.” Send a note to your pastor, “I love having you as my priest.” Tell the clerk at the grocery store who always has a smile (even for the 20-item folks in the 15-item line), “I love shopping with you.” Thank the waitress who always remembers that you like extra ice, and say, “I love how you always remember the ice.” Put a card in your child’s lunch sack that says, “I love having you as my daughter, or son.” Stop by your folks house just to say, “I love you,” and “Thanks.”

Give your wife or husband a kiss and say, “I love you.” Then add at least one thing your spouse does to enrich that love. Say it aloud, and mean it.

Think of all the people you can add to this list: a teacher, yours or your child’s, a doctor or nurse, the crossing guard, the dry cleaner, the aide at your nursing home, your coach, your conductor, your bus driver, your mechanic. And, if you can’t say, “I love you,” or it wouldn’t be appropriate, then think of something kind and encouraging that you can say.

It won’t cost a cent to speak or write messages of love, and you might even get some “I love you, too’s,” in return.