A Sonnet for St. Valentine

Why should this martyr be the saint of Love?

Why should this martyr be the saint of Love?

Here is a sonnet I composed in honour of the original St. Valentine. I notice some FB posts implying that as an early Christian martyr he has nothing to do with Romantic Love and should be dissociated from it. I believe that on the contrary there is every reason why he should be the patron saint of Love and this sonnet explores why.

As always you can hear the poem by clicking on either the title or the ‘play’ button. This poem will be published in my next collection ‘Parable and Paradox’ to be published by Canterbury Press in June

St Valentine

Why should this martyr be the saint of love?

A quiet man of unexpected courage,

A celibate who celebrated marriage,

An ageing priest with nothing left to prove,

He loved the young and made their plight his cause.

He called for fruitfulness, not waste in wars,

He found a sure foundation, stood his ground,

And gave his life to guard the love he’d found.


Why should this martyr be our Valentine?

Perhaps because he kept his covenant,

Perhaps because, with prayer still resonant,

He pledged the Bridegroom’s love in holy wine,

Perhaps because the echo of his name

Can kindle love again to living flame.


Filed under christianity, Poems

7 responses to “A Sonnet for St. Valentine

  1. I love Valentine’s day and romantic love, generous gifts, wearing your heart on your sleeve, swearing undying love are all ways we express our God image. God is love. Valentine’s day was my theme for ash Wednesday, with the cross a symbol of undying love.

  2. Pingback: How to Discover Your Calling | Tanya Marlow - Thorns and Gold

  3. jodyo70

    How wonderful! I can see why his life should indeed be considered the picture of what Christ’s love is, love without reservation, without hesitation.

  4. Malcolm this is beautiful. We used to sponsor a St. Valentine’s Day Novena here in Corpus Christi and I was responsible for coming up with the art and text and layout of the cards that were sent out in early January that were returned with prayer requests.

    Sadly the Ecclesial Team training center no longer exists and the Novena is a work of mercy from the past.

    If it were work was still alive I would seek your permission to reprint this sonnet for next year’s novena…it is perfect!

    As it is, I will use it on my blog for today pointing readers to this inspiring site.


    All for the love of Jesus,


  5. I’m so glad I stopped to read this. So beautiful.

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