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Assembly Title
Saint Valentine

Submitted by
S. Daly

Age Group

To celebrate the feast of Saint Valentine
To hear about the origins of Valentine's Day

Faith Group

A bicycle pump or toy water pump, a model heart or torso if available, Valentine cards

Time of Year
On or near February 14th

Good morning.
Today we are going to tell you about how Valentine's Day began.
Firstly, we are going to tell you a bit about the heart.

2. The heart is a pump.
A bicycle pump can push air into a tyre, like this. (Demonstrate.)
The heart pushes blood around our bodies.
It does this about 70 times a minute, when we are at rest - and over 100 times a minute after exercise.
In 70 years, it beats 2500 million times.
You can feel how fast your heart is pumping, by feeling your pulse - on your wrist or under your jaw.

3. Junior children have about 4 litres of blood.
In a lifetime, the heart pumps enough blood to fill the Albert Hall.
The blood carries oxygen, food and waste around the body.
It takes about 23 seconds for the blood to circulate around the body. Then it goes to the lungs to receive more oxygen.

4. The heart is a stronger muscle than your arm muscle. You could not flex your arm 70 times a minute for 70 years.
The heart is pear-shaped, about the size of a fist. It hangs in a tough bag, attached to the breastbone
Because it is so powerful and important, people used to think that love came from the heart. That is why you see hearts on Valentine cards.
It is Saint Valentine's Day on (day).
Here is a play about it.


Lisa and Paul enter, sit and eat breakfast.

LISA: Morning, Paul.

PAUL: Morning, Lisa. Are you excited then?

LISA: Yes, it's Valentine's Day isn't it? I wonder how many cards I'll get.

Fred stomps in, in a bad mood, sits, plays with food.

LISA & PAUL: Morning, Fred!

Fred scowls, doesn't answer.

LISA & PAUL: Morning, Fred!

FRED: Oh... hello.

LISA: We were just talking about Valentine's Day. It's exciting isn't it?


PAUL: It is! I hope I get a card from Emma. She let me play her computer game yesterday.

FRED: Big wow!

LISA: I hope I get a card from Jason. I've sent him one. He let me have a go on his scooter last week.

FRED: Fantastic - not!

PAUL: You're in a bad mood, aren't you?


LISA: I hope you get some Valentine cards. That will cheer you up.

FRED: Oh, I think I'll get about 10 this year. All the girls in my class like me.

Did you send any cards?

FRED: No, of course I didn't. I'm not a cissy.

Postman delivers cards. Lisa goes to get them.

LISA: Here you are, Paul, 2 for you. And 3 for me! I wonder who they're from?

PAUL: Hey! I've got one from Mary. I didn't even know she liked me! And this one's not signed, but I think it's from Emma.

LISA: Ooh! Jason did send me one. He's put 2 kisses on it!
I don't know who these are from though.
Actually, that handwriting looks a bit like Dad's.

FRED: Er... excuse me...

LISA & PAUL: Yes, Fred?

FRED: Where are my cards? Was the pile too heavy to carry?

LISA: Oh, I'm sorry, Fred... The postman didn't leave you any.

Fred starts to cry.

FRED: (Sniff, sniff.) Nobody loves me!


5. Maybe Fred loved himself more than he loved other people.
Anyway - back to Saint Valentine.
We are not sure who Saint Valentine was, but we think there may have been two - a priest and a bishop who were killed in Rome on 14th February about 1700 years ago.
This is near the beginning of spring when, in the Middle Ages, girls and boys used to promise to be friends for a year and would give each other presents.

6. For hundreds of years, people have given cards, flowers and gifts on 14th February.
We think the custom began in Ancient Rome.
The Romans had a Spring Festival called Lupercalia.
Unmarried men and women put their names in an urn.
The name they drew out would be their partner for the feasting and dancing.
During one of these festivals, a priest called Valentine was beheaded for helping Christians. So the feast of Lupercalia came to be known as Valentine's Day.

7. Dear Lord, please help us to be loving people.
Lord hear us...
ALL: Lord graciously hear us.

8. Dear Lord, help us to show love to people who are not very happy.
Lord hear us...
ALL: Lord graciously hear us.

9. Dear Lord, help us to accept love, when people show it to us.
Lord hear us...
ALL: Lord graciously hear us.

10. We will now sing 'Let there be Love', by D. Bilbrough (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 358)

S. Daly 2000

Last updated 19-7-12.