Tag Archives: Religion

The Story of St. Valentine

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I posted this story on Valentine’s Day 2017. Somehow I don’t have a reblog button, so I repost it.

One common story about St. Valentine is that at one point in his life, as the former Bishop of Terni, Narnia, and Amelia, he was under house arrest with Judge Asterius. While discussing religion and faith with the Judge, Valentine pledged the validity of Jesus. The judge immediately put Valentine and his faith to the test.

St. Valentine was presented with the judge’s blind daughter and told to restore her sight. If he succeeded, the judge vowed to do anything for Valentine. Placing his hands onto her eyes, Valentine restored the child’s vision.

Judge Asterius was humbled and obeyed Valentine’s requests. Asterius broke all the idols around his house, fasted for three days and became baptized, along with his family and entire 44 member household. The now faithful judge then freed all of his Christian inmates.

St. Valentine was later arrested again for continuing to try to convert people to Christianity. He was sent to Rome under the emperor Claudius Gothicus (Claudius II). St. Valentine refused to renounce his faith and Christianity and was executed outside the Flaminian Gate on February 14, 269.

Another variation of the legend of St. Valentine says he refused to sacrifice to pagan gods, was imprisoned and while imprisoned he healed the jailer’s blind daughter. On the day of his execution, he left the girl a note signed, “Your Valentine.”

The romantic nature of Valentine’s Day may have derived during the Middle Ages when it was believed that birds paired couples in mid-February. Although the exact origin of the holiday is not widely agreed upon, it is widely recognized as a day for love, devotion, and romance.

Whoever he was, Valentine did really exist, because archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to St. Valentine. In 496 AD Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom.

In 1969, the Roman Catholic Church removed St. Valentine from the General Roman Calendar, because so little is known about him. However, the church still recognizes him as a saint, listing him in the February 14 spot of Roman Martyrology.

Source: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=159

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Broken Highway at Key West

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KeyWest HarborKey West southernmost point

Key West, Florida is the southernmost point in the continent of USA.  It’s one of the best places to watch sunset. Key West is humid. The fog came in at nightfall.

The second day of the trip, we drove up and down the Highway to visit other Keys. Apparently, part of the Highway was broken. Instead of repairing, a new section of the Highway was built, parallel to the broken section. The two ends of the new were connected to the original Highway. The broken section was left alone.

Hwy-broken bridge

We went to the Ernest Hemingway House, I took a photo of the picture of his fishing boat named Pilar. Hemingway regularly fished off the boat in the waters of Key West, Florida. Several of Hemingway’s books were influenced by time spent on the boat, most notably, The Old Man and the Sea and Islands in the Stream.

1 Key West Hammingway

The winter White House of President Harry S. Truman was his white house away from the White House. Today it is a public Key West museum.

Successful fishing trip! Many birds around were waiting for the scraps from cleaning the fish.

Wreck Museum displayed the treasures found from the shipwreck. Marilyn Monroe’s famous Seven Year Itch status was in front of a theater.

One of the highlights for my husband was his diving trip.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Broken

Blessings #5

blessings-3-3-2Journey of Giving and Receiving Blessings – Childhood

Chinese religion is not Buddhism. Instead, it’s polytheism in that they believe in multiple gods. It’s also a dualism; they believe gods and evil have equal powers. When I was a child, we lived in a flat on the third floor.  There were red wooden plaques with images or writings represented different gods displayed around the flat. A container with ashes was attached to each plaque to hold incense. Two were hung on the side of the top and bottom part of the doorway signified to protect people’s coming and going.  There was one plaque by every window to guard the evil from coming in. One plaque was in the kitchen. The kitchen god listened to people’s gossips. At the end of year, the god would report to heaven. So before Chinese New Year, people made offering to the kitchen god to bribe him. This was my mother’s religion.

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When WWII was over, we went back to Hong Kong from China. My mom gave birth to five younger siblings, and they were about eighteen months apart. My mom’s generation didn’t practice birth control! When the third sister was sick with meningitis, my mom didn’t take her to the doctor.  She went to a temple to make an offering, and asked for healing of my sister.  She also hired a monk coming to our home to chant and burn incense.  He waved the smoke from the burning incense over and around her. It didn’t heal my sister.

Eventually my mom took my sister to the hospital. She died of high fever in her brain. My mom came home crying. When I asked where my sister was, she said the doctor kept her to take care of her. It was the way she dealt with the pain. That event gave me great impressions and cast a doubt in my mind of mom’s religion.

I started going to school when I was six and a half years old. Both of my parents worked, so I had to take care of my younger siblings during the day. I went to night school until 4th grade. I walked 500 meters or one-third of a mile to school by myself for first grade. The following year my sister reached school age, we walked to school together. I enjoyed going to school. The best thing was that when I was in first grade, my teacher said I was bright. The teachers liked me and I liked the teachers. I even had a crush on my fourth grade teacher Mr. Wu.

All the subjects were taught in Chinese. My dad wanted me to learn English, so he sent me to English tutoring when I was in fourth grade. By this time, my mom stopped working so that she could take care of four little ones. Since my mom was home, my dad decided to send me to day school. It was in Wan Chai, half an hour tram ride from home. We had school five and a half days a week. I made friend with teacher’s daughter, Shirley. We became lifelong friends.

“The first grade teacher said I was bright, and that made a big impact on my life.”

The first grade teacher said I was bright, and that made a big impact on my lif. I did well at school throughout elementary school years. Each class had about forty students. At the end of school year, the report card showed our performance in terms of their places among the forty students. Throughout elementary school years, I didn’t get the first place. I was in second to ninth places. That means, I was at the top twenty-three percentile of grade points. It broke my heart when I got the ninth place that year! I gave credit to my dad for my good grades. He checked my homework every night and quizzed me every week. It was a blessing to have a dad who cared so much about my education.

Courtesy of https://mygulitypleasures.wordpress.com for the street sign Pok Fu Lam Road.