Ugandans have been warned to stay away from any romantic gestures especially making love on Valentines Day which falls today February 14th.
The day however coincides with Ash Wednesday, a Roman Catholic tradition to mark the beginning of the Lenten season. Though the church specifically asked its members to stay away from any kinds of celebrations as the day is marked, many would rather forget about heaven but make love to their partners.
Chirch history indicates that because so little is reliably known of Valentine, in 1969 the Catholic Church removed his name from the General Roman Calendar, leaving his liturgical celebration to local calendars.
However, the Roman Catholic Church continues to recognize him as a saint, listing him as such in the February 14 entry in the Roman Martyrology and authorizing liturgical veneration of him on February 14 in any place where that day is not devoted to some other obligatory celebration in accordance with the rule that on such a day the Mass may be that of any saint listed in the Martyrology for that day.
There’s way too many stories of Valentines death, but many a people have chosen to believe that he was a priest Rome who lived in the third century AD.
These were the times of Emperor Claudius II, who had banned marriages, believing married men made bad soldiers.
But, Saint Valentine is said to have felt this was an unfair notion and arranged marriages in secret, and when Claudius found out, Valentine was thrown in jail and given a death sentence.
While in prison, Valentine fell in love with the jailer's daughter and when he was taken to be killed on February 14 he sent her a love letter signed "from your Valentine".
Even though the story of Valentine’s death does not indicate sex as a way of celebrating love, many tend to think it is what he died for. Some have even made up stories of him having sex in public to prove his love for the jailer’s daughter before death.
Well, the State Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Fr Simon Lokodo will not take this nonsense. The minister says Ugandans should respect St. Valentine's Day and celebrate it within its true meaning and purpose. Just celebrate love, in any way other than having sex.
That might not sound right to some people though.
Lokodo, a Roman Catholic Priest urged Ugandans to avoid acts that contradict religious teachings, beliefs and values. Lokodo observes that the day has in the past been turned into an occasion for promiscuity, lush behavior and manifestation of moral decadence.
"I hear it's a day of romance, what and what…I don't know which I strongly condemn. If it were Valentine’s Day, then remember what those guys did. I say Ugandans, respect Valentine’s Day and give it the meaning and purpose for which it was mentioned” Lokodo said.
Meanwhile, today is the first time in 73 years that Valentine's Day falls on Ash Wednesday.