Celebrating Friendship


Author: Brigid Rush, Volunteer Coordinator 

Last month, many celebrated St. Valentine’s Day. But it has a record of hazy history. Some say that two men named “Valentine” were martyred on February 14th, 3rd century A.D. They have been honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine's Day ever since.

A few weeks ago at our St. Ben’s site, one of our guests, Dan, joyfully wished me a “Happy Valentine’s Day.” I was pleasantly surprised with the greeting and wished him the same. Then he went on to tell me that he had just wished someone else out on the sidewalk a “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Unfortunately, he had not gotten the same response he had gotten from me.

Dan looked concerned, saying that the man on the street huffed at him and walked away. I expressed my thoughts of normalcy towards the ‘huffy’ man’s response, saying that many people are not-so-happy about the holiday. He then replied, “I’m a happy person. I am happy every day.” It was refreshing to hear such positivity, which is something I love about our guests. I, myself, was not particularly excited about this holiday we know as a celebration of love and romance, but as the day went on, I thought about all the love and happiness there is to celebrate.

Most guests that I talk to are happy to be living the life God gave them. I focused on the happiness that friendship with family, close friends, and acquaintances bring; Dan being one of them. I thought about his joyful spirit. Referring back to St. Valentine, legend has it that he befriended the blind daughter of a judge. He wrote her secret letters signed, "From Your Valentine" and then restored her sight from beyond the grave. Valentine’s Day does not have to be about romance. It can also be about friendship (or however you feel it), which, I believe, is one of the most fulfilling ways to feel love.