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 is published in my most recent collection ‘Parable and Paradox’

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

8 responses to “A Sonnet for St. Valentine

  1. Well done. Several words catch fire in my imagination: Fruitfulness. Foundation. Living flame. His facts are unknown. The legend is enough. Happy Valentine’s Day! Blessings from St. Paul’s UMC, Houston,

  2. Janice

    We listened this poem over a special Valentine breakfast with grand kids at my daughter’s home in Kansas City. The poem was a lovely highlight to the meal so lovingly prepared by my son-in-law, before leaving for work. As the poem reminds us, love is about the keeping of covenants.
    Janice, retired prof
    Grove City College

  3. “And the spiritual life of Christians must now be conducted under the conditions of secular life.” Luther said that spirituality is “life in the world oriented toward God.” Thank you for the call to faithfulness and fruitfulness. Following our Lord, lead on St Valentine that we may love well.

  4. Malcolm, you have inspired me to try writing sonnets recently. I’ve written 3. I wrote 2 for my wife in the last weeks. Thanks so much!

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