EVEN as the celebration of Saint Valentine’s Day had been removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969 or 46 years ago, the Church still recognizes Valentine as a saint and does not oppose the customary celebration of Valentine’s Day on February 14 in many parts of the world.
But Fr. Kim Margallo, director, Commission on Youth, Archdiocese of Palo, Leyte, on Friday appealed to Filipinos, particularly the youth, to look at the celebration with a much deeper perspective, not solely in the usual context of “romantic love.”
It has been observed in Metro Manila that all motels teem with lovers, apparently both legal and illicit, on Valentine’s Day to the extent that those whocould not be accommodated queue outside in their cars or taxis waiting for rooms that would be vacated.
Margallo pointed out that young people should learn how to distinguish loving from simply liking and not confuse the two, the confusion resulting from which sometimes leads to regrettable acts such aspre-marital sex.
“True love does not wait for anything in return, such as the love of Christ wherein He never stopped loving us in spite of our sinfulness even to the point of death,” he said.
Love, according to him, is a process that starts with liking first, developing into love as the relationship develops.
He called for a deeper comprehension of love in the light of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s encyclical Deus Caritas Est (God is Love) where he talked about agape love or love that is self-giving and sacrificial.
“We now focus on romantic kind of love, especially among the youth, in that liking is already considered as loving,” Margallo said, articulating the Spanish dictum “Te quiero yo te amo.”
He clarified that the feast of Saint Valentine, which was observed by the early Church, was removed from the General Roman Calendar in the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints.
According to records, so little is known about Saint Valentine, and in 1969 the Catholic Church removed his name from the General Roman Calendar, leaving his liturgical celebration to local calendars.