Valentine Cards at the Franciscan Monastery

//Valentine Cards at the Franciscan Monastery

Valentine Cards at the Franciscan Monastery

As St. Valentine’s Day approaches, the Franciscan Monastery continues its annual exhibition of Valentine’s cards in the Visitor Center. Saint Valentine is remembered and venerated as the patron saint of lovers, and this special collection of handicrafts in honor of his feast was made by Br. Simon McKay, OFM, a Franciscan friar, for his parents.

History of the “Valentines”

The exhibited cards are part of a handicraft tradition born in England in the second half of the 19th century, where the production of greeting cards called “Valentines” developed.
Among the many Valentines made of velvet, silk, paper lace, flowers, pearls, ribbons, and feathers, some were made inside a box, which gave the greeting a three-dimensional effect.
Br. Simon began in 1955 to use the style of the “Box Valentine” but developed it a little further by ornamenting both the exterior and the interior. The Valentines on display were made between 1962 and 1981, and after the death of his brother in 1982, Brother Simon stopped making them.

The origin of the feast

While the feast of Saint Valentine is celebrated worldwide, knowledge of the Christian origin of this celebration is less widespread. Saint Valentine was a Christian bishop who lived in the 4th century and died as a martyr during the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. He was caught trying to celebrate the secret wedding of a Christian couple. For this he was executed by beheading. His sacrifice still teaches us the value of true love, which consists in giving oneself completely for others. His body is preserved in the Basilica dedicated to him in the city of Terni, in central Italy, between Assisi and Rome.

2024-02-13T15:27:28-05:00February 13th, 2024|Categories: At the monastery|Comments Off on Valentine Cards at the Franciscan Monastery