REFLECTING ON THE TRUE LESSONS OF VALENTINE DAY.
By PRINCE MACDONALD ENWERE.
Today the world marks the feast of St. Valentine. It is a day set aside to commemorate the memory of a Priest who worked against the decision of the Roman Empire to outlaw married soldiers in the military formation of the Roman Empire. This made Emperor Claudius to order his imprisonment and execution on 14th February in the year 269 AD. After his execution, in 498 AD Pope Gelasuis declared 14th February a sanction church holiday in honor of St Valentine who was martyred for the protection of the sanctity of holy matrimony.
St Valentine was a dispenser of love and an epitome of Justice, equity, selflessness and sacrifice. He sacrificed his freedom, time and personality solemnizing and guarding the institution of marriage from attack and ultimate destruction.
As a Priest whose lifestyle symbolizes more than filiation and conjugation, his life was embedded in charity, chastity, kindness, forgiveness, gratitude and selflessness.
Today as Valentine's day is not a tide for social event or a day for extravaganza, indulgence in merriment and immoral activities rather a period for us to reflect on the sacrifice of selfless love and passion exemplified by St Valentine. It is a time for us to engrave harmonious coexistence, love, common brotherliness, purity of mind, body , soul and spirit in our daily living. It is also a moment for us to rededicate ourselves to the passion, sacrifice, reconciliation and self-control.
Celebration of Valentine today should propel us to live a life worthy of emulation and in conformity with the principle virtues Which St. Valentine lived and died for.
It is indeed worthy to note that St Valentine was an angel of good leadership characterized by true love for the oppressed and marginalized. This season of love, is therefore, another opportunity for our leaders to redirect their sense of reasoning towards consolidating the foundation of effective leadership engrossed in true love, sacrifice and charity. It is a time for our leaders to emulate the life of St Valentine by eschewing selfishness, nepotism, wicked adventurism , political misadventures and other integral developmental disaster and embrace restructuring Nigeria for peace, Justice, equity, love , harmony and ethnic integration.
Our desire based on the Christian spirit of St Valentine should propel us as vanguard of societal reengineering and ideological reformation for National Integration. This year's Valentine celebration should provoke our leaders towards building a strong, resolute and proactive spirit of love , patriotism, rededication for national development and political progressivism. The feast of St Valentine should also reawake and inspire our spirit and the consciousness of our leaders in all spheres of National leadership to embrace love and sacrifice as veritable tools for propagation of national unity and harmony against the unabated blood bathing, profligacy, ethic chauvinism and political ignominy in our country.
We should allow the essence of Valentine to guide our souls and the virtues of selflessness, unbridled love and sacrifice should take preeminence in our daily living. If we can allow true love to get hold of our hearts, the shedding of blood and other social vices in our country will be drastically reduced . Then we shall begin to respect the dignity and sanctity of human life. As we celebrate this year's Valentine, we should allow unconditional love and harmony to take precedence in our country.