Don’t forget World Marriage Day and National Marriage Week
Valentine’s Day is about more than a box of chocolates and a greeting card.
It’s about marriage, love, family and faith – and celebrations have sprung up around those key attributes to promote happy, fulfilling and Christ-centered relationships.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter, for example, celebrates World Marriage Day on the second Sunday of February – Feb. 12 – and National Marriage Week, Feb. 7-14, is a collaborative effort to support marriage that includes faith communities, business, media, education and nonprofit groups.
Two years ago, Pope Francis celebrated Valentine’s Day with more than 10,000 couples from around the world at St. Peter’s Square in Rome, where he encouraged them to develop lifelong relationships in marriage that can grow and change, to remember to ask "may I?" and to say "thank you" and "I’m sorry" to one another.
This year, in a Jan. 5 letter to fellow bishops, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, encouraged dioceses to promote marriage during February. He also offered tools and suggestions, including preaching resources, bulletin inserts and promoting Feb. 10 as a day of prayer and sacrifice for marriage.