The National Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria Youth Wing (YOWICAN), Belosochukwu Enwere has called on Nigerian youths to use the occasion of this year’s Valentine’s day celebration to pray and work for the security and unity of the country.
Enwere, in an official statement, said the youth should not use the occasion to indulge in any immoral act or behaviours that could further divide Nigeria, but seek God’s guidance for peace and unity.
Enwere noted that St. Valentine’s sacrifices that made him an eternal phenomenon was beyond mundane things, but a legacy of selfless service to mankind.
According to him, the ethnic tensions and insecurity ravaging through the length and breadth of the nation was caused by lack of love and patriotism. “St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus.
A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against the command of Emperor Claudius the second. There are legends surrounding Valentine’s actions while in prison.
“One of the men who were to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, whose daughter was blind.
He was supposed to have prayed with and healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian as a result. In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation all because of his stand for Christian marriage.
“The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius’ daughter. He inspired today’s romantic missives by signing it, ‘from your Valentine’ for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. Valentine has come to be known as the patron saint of lovers,” he added.