Once February rolls around, you cannot escape awareness of the upcoming holiday—Valentine’s Day, or “Singles Awareness Day,” as the lonely have coined it. But Valentine’s Day was not always about romantic love. It was a day commemorating a man who showed compassion to the persecuted…and you can help make it a memorial of true humanitarian love again.
About St. Valentine
There are many legends surround St. Valentine, in part because there is more than one sainted Valentine (or Valentinus). Perhaps the most famous, and the reason why Valentine’s Day has been associated with romantic love, is that of Valentine the priest who married Roman soldiers in secret (because Roman soldiers were supposed to be “married” to their duty to Caesar). But there is another Valentine, one who was sainted because of the aid he gave to those who were persecuted because of their religious beliefs by the Roman government (circa 3rd century CE). To us, that is what true love is—the willingness to risk your life to make the lives of those who are unjustly persecuted better.
Be a Modern Valentine
You have the opportunity to live in the spirit of St. Valentine this (and every) year by giving aid to those who are unjustly persecuted by mainstream society: individuals with HIV/Stage 3 (AIDS) and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
UNM Truman Health Services provides a number of opportunities for you to be part of awareness-raising events and fundraising efforts. Contact us to learn more about volunteer opportunities for our events. You can also make a tax-deductible gift to UNM Truman Health Services (part of UNM Medical Group, a 501(c)(3)). Donations help us provide education and prevention resources to our community and affordable health care to patients with limited or no insurance coverage.