St Valentine is the patron saint for engaged couples and a saint to pray to for a happy marriage.
In celebration of St Valentine’s Day, Archbishop Julian celebrated Marriage Masses in the north and south of the state, on either side of the feast day in February.
Newlywed couples and couples celebrating 25, 40, 50 or 60 years of marriage were invited to publicly renew the promises they made on their wedding day before the Archbishop and the community.
“Today, let us celebrate the wonderful gift of marriage. Let us rejoice in those faithful couples whose anniversaries we commemorate today. Let us embrace the fullness of God’s great plan for human life found and experienced in Christian marriage,” His Grace said.
Couples held hands and recited their dedication to one another. Archbishop Julian then blessed their wedding rings and sprinkled the rings with Holy water.
“Marriage is a beautiful thing. It takes us to the depths of our humanity where love, joy and hope abide. A wedding is always an occasion of great celebration. It captures some of the most noble of human emotions and desires, and it expresses some of the most heartfelt of human experiences. A wedding is a time of hope and expectation. Everyone wishes the newly married couple well in their future together, Archbishop Julian said.
The celebration masses were held at Church of the Apostles, Launceston, on 12 February, and St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart, on 19 February.
Archbishop Julian introduced this celebration into the archdiocese in 2015, as an occasion to thank God for the gift of marriage and to honour married couples for their life-giving love. Couples who registered their intent to participate received a commemorative certificate from the Archbishop on the day.
The history of St Valentine dates back to the year 269, when the Emperor Claudius II banned marriages so that he could recruit young men for his army. Brave Roman priest Valentine began marrying couples secretly and was arrested for this, and eventually beheaded on 14 February.