Vanguard (Lagos)

14 February 2013

Nigeria: Love is Pure, Cleric Counsels On Valentine Celebration

Abuja — Rev. Fr. Robert Achiaga of the Catholic Arch-Diocese of Abuja on Thursday advised Christians to celebrate Valentine Day bearing in mind that "love is pure".

Achiaga in Abuja said that "love does not suffer violence or trouble".

He said that as Christians, the day should be celebrated bearing in mind that all their words, thoughts and actions, should depict love.

"My message for Christians today is that they should remember that love is something pure. It does not lead to trouble, enslavement, imprisonment or incurring debt.

"Love is exercised in freedom without strings attached. Love does not yield to hatred," he said.

He said that Valentine Day began with hopes and the aspirations "hence something we need to continue to celebrate."

"The manner of celebration is a different question all together but in its original design, it is a praise-worthy celebration.

"It is about love and we cannot live without love. We cannot afford to refuse to think about love.

"What makes this world habitable, what makes neighbourliness, what makes family, what makes friendship possible is love.

"If love is the essence of this celebration, it is a worthwhile event," he added.

Rev Fr. Stephen Omale, Assistant Parish Priest, Our Lady Queen of Nigeria, at a mass in honour of St. Valentine, said that God sets life and death before man to choose from.

"It is our responsibility to choose. God will not make the choice for any man."

Omale urged Christians to use this period of lent to go down on their knees in order to choose life as they celebrate Valentine Day.

"At the end of the 40 days of lent, there should be something new, just like it was in the days of Jesus, Moses, Elijah and Jonah," he said.

Omale prayed God to release His Grace for his people to make the right decisions in life. NAN

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