T e a c h e r  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

The Legacy of Saint Valentine

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CHIN, Ottawa, Ontario

God's Love Manifested
This lesson is designed to be a fun an engaging way to celebrate Valentine's Day. You and your students will discover the history and legacy behind the story of Saint Valentine and how his example reflects the Christian philosophy of love. In addition, this lesson plan provides brief and informative resources on the concept of love in other religious traditions.

Roughly 1 - 2 class periods should be needed to teach this lesson, and it should be supported by any additional class references (textbooks, teacher notes, etc...). The topic is best suited for secondary school, specifically a World Religions course, but it could easily be adapted to courses in History, Anthropology, Sociology, and Civilizations.

Enjoy!
The Story of Saint Valentine
This first section introduces the history behind Saint Valentine and his legacy within Western traditions. His story is somewhat controversial and mysterious, with theologians disputing his existence and works, so it might be best to support this content with research and information of your own. Nonetheless, this resource provides an interesting theory for this iconic Christian figure.
Introduction
CHIN
© 2004, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Presence of the Past
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Saint Valentine
Saint Valentine
Saint Valentine's arm is raised in blessing over the newly married couple.

Private Collection/Archives Charmet
Painted glass

CHT 166658

© 2004, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Presence of the Past
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Valentine, a Champion of Marriage
CHIN
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Learning Object Collection: Presence of the Past
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Valentine and the Healing Touch of Love
CHIN
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Learning Object Collection: Presence of the Past
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
From Pagan Festival to Christian Feast
CHIN
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Learning Object Collection: Presence of the Past
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Introduction
CHIN
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Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Court of Love: Valentine's Day, 1400
CHIN
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Learning Object Collection: Landscape of Romance and Love
Learning Object: Love's Playful Game
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Love in the Christian Faith
Next, we look at the concept of 'love' within the broader Christian context. While this topic seems to be most suited for Christian-based schools, it is an appropriate examination of the philosophy and theology of Christianity and can be adapted easily into an historical look at this faith.
Introduction
CHIN
© 2004, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Presence of the Past
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Passion, Love and Death
CHIN
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Learning Object Collection: Presence of the Past
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Triptych of the Lamentation of Christ
Triptych of the Lamentation of Christ
Triptych of the Lamentation of Christ

Jean Bellegambe l’Ancien (circa 1470–circa 1534)
Tempera on panel

NMW 133448

© Muzeum Narodowe, Varsovie, Pologne
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Learning Object Collection: Presence of the Past
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Mystical Marriage: The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa
CHIN
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Learning Object Collection: Presence of the Past
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Ecstasy of St. Theresa
Ecstasy of St. Theresa
Ecstasy of St. Theresa

The facial expression of Theresa in Bernini's masterpiece shows that the union in love vivifies the whole of a person's being, mind, body and soul.

Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680)
Marble

PHD 968

© Bridgeman Art Library
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Learning Object Collection: Presence of the Past
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Universal Stories of Love
This last section presents some examples of love as depicted through a few other religious and mythical traditions. Students should focus on analyzing each example and comparing and contrasting them with the Christian examples. Is there a universal view of love across faiths? What influences how people interpret love as an aspect of the divine? Do you think that love is merely an interpretation of a biological process? This is a great chance to ask some profound, philosophical questions to your class!
Introduction
CHIN
© 2004, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Love's Enduring Story
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Sacred Marriage in the Ancient Near East
CHIN
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Learning Object Collection: Presence of the Past
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Affectionate Couple
Affectionate Couple
Affectionate Couple

This mass-produced plaque may have had magical or religious significance. It was recovered in Ur, southern Iraq, by Leonard Woolley.

The British Museum
Terracotta
10.5 x 6.2 cm
ANE 116812.

© The British Museum
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Learning Object Collection: Presence of the Past
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Eros, Divine Intermediary
CHIN
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Learning Object Collection: Presence of the Past
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Krishna, the Blue Boy as Lover
CHIN
© 2004, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Love's Enduring Story
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
A Rajput King Worshipping Krishna
A Rajput King Worshipping Krishna
Krishna receives the loving devotion of a local ruler, while also being affectionately tended by his loyal young maidens, the gopis.

Photo Credit: The British Museum
Painting on paper

OA 1956.7-14.017.

© The British Museum.
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Learning Object Collection: Love's Enduring Story
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Rābi'a of Basra, Mystic Lover of Allah
CHIN
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Learning Object Collection: Love's Enduring Story
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Sikh Marriage Hymns of Divine Union
CHIN
© 2004, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Love's Enduring Story
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Marriage Hymns of the Song of Songs
CHIN
© 2004, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Presence of the Past
Institution: RCIP-CHIN
Suggested Activities
Although this lesson is focused on a themed holiday (Valentine's Day), there are many possibilities that can include its topic into an appropriate activity. One suggestion would be to form small groups of students and assign each one to a particular Christian saint (include some Canadians, such as Saint Andre Bessette). The task is to carry out some research on the history of the saint, followed by an explanation of how their saint embodies Christian ideas of love. The idea is to connect what has been learned about love in Christianity with examples of people from that faith. This same concept could easily be applied to any other religion.

Here's an idea!

Visit the website http://blabberize.com. Here, you can upload a picture, create a mouth on that picture, add voice from a sound file (check out www.vocaroo.com), and have your picture talk! Each group could find a picture of their saint and recap researched information as a 'first-person' narrative. This is a fun and imaginative way to engage your students with the lesson!

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
- explore the life and influence of Saint Valentine
- assess how Saint Valentine embodies the Christian philosophy on love
- compare and contrast various religious interpretations and representations of love