For the second year in a row, the saint finder on the Conversion Diary has hooked me up with St. Valentine as my patron saint for the year. Last year I rejected that pick because, St. Valentine in the midst of a divorce? It just wasn't happening for me. As I recall, I pulled the lever a few times before I got somebody I could relate to and right now I can't even remember who that was. Some years the first saint to be pulled works out to be so right for me it is as though the saint picked me.
If you don't come from a Catholic prospective the idea of a patron saint probably sounds odd or even wrong to you. This probably won't change your mind but let me explain that the Church has proclaimed that these saints are in Heaven. The saints in Heaven can pray for us. Asking them to pray for us is the same as me asking you to pray for my friend or my son or myself. The saints are clouds of witnesses to the glory of God.
But, St. Valentine, how can I relate to him this year? I read the list of things he is the patron for like lovers and martyrs, and I just didn't relate. I will have to do some further study and see where St. Valentine fits in my life. I have a feeling if I keep rejecting him, he will pop up first next year.
This year I am on a journey with St. Valentine. I don't trust love. I don't think I was ever loved in a meaningful way by my ex-spouse. I don't know what it would feel like to have a partner who was open and honest with me. I don't know what it would feel like to be cherished and loved for myself with all my strengths and weaknesses and not manipulated and tricked and criticized. At this stage of the game, I don't expect ever to know these things. Perhaps they don't exist?
So, that being said, maybe St Valentine is a good choice. I need to look honestly at my life and figure out what it means to move forward. How will I find friends and love and support without needing a spouse? What has all my pain and suffering meant and how does it inform me for the rest of my days?