Editorial: Celebrating Valentine's Day with the ones we love

On Sunday we'll celebrate Valentine's Day, a day many set aside to show their love to a significant other. We've pointed out in this space many times that this holiday is centered on marriage.

In response to a decree by Emperor Claudius II that marriage would be outlawed, Valentine, a priest in Rome, defied the ruling and continued to marry couples in secrecy. Eventually, Saint Valentine, as we've come to know him, was found out and sentenced to death Feb. 14 around A.D. 270.

Marriage is something to be celebrated, and we're reminded of that holy bond on this holiday.

The past year has also reminded us of another kind of love, a sacrificial one that's not necessarily of the romantic variety. There has been tremendous hurt and pain during the pandemic, and while there's light at the end of the tunnel we're not out of it just yet. But in the last year we've also witnessed some of the best of humanity. People helping people, maybe none more so than health care workers treating the sick -- putting their own lives on the line to help others. Scripture says it this way: "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends." (John 15:13)

So on this Valentine's Day, we celebrate love and marriage. We know the blessing it can be and cherish the ones we love. We also thank those who have "loved their neighbor," maybe this year more than any other.

Happy Valentine's Day.