My way-cool Gnostic Calendar which I got here: Gnosis.org says for today February 14, “The Holy Valentinus, Guide to Gnosis”. We alternative Christians, including esotericists, gnostics and semi-gnostics, should honor this Gnostic “Saint” today. I put quotes around the word saint because the alternative church and the Gnostics have never had a Pope to declare saints. Since the word saint means “holy”, the author of my nifty calendar, Rev. Troy Pierce of the Ecclesia Gnostica, says it perfectly, “The Holy Valentinus, Guide to Gnosis.” Living legend, author and Gnostic Bishop Dr. Stephan Hoeller aka Tau Stephanus, writes: “Valentinus, a Gnostic for All Seasons. …the Greatest of all Gnostic teachers [is] Valentinus, who is said to have been a disciple of Theudas (or Theodas), a friend and student of Paul.
“…G.R.S. Mead called Valentinus ‘the great unknown’ of Gnosticism, and indeed there is little information regarding his life and personality. He was born in Africa, probably within the territory of the ancient city of Carthage, around or before 100 A.D. Educated in Alexandria, in his prime years he transferred his residence to Rome, where he achieved high prominence in the Christian community between the years 135 and 160. Tertullian writes that Valentinus was a candidate for the office of bishop of Rome and lost the election by a rather narrow margin. [Wow! Would’ve been a Gnostic Pope.]
“…Valentinus, the Gnostic who almost became Pope, was perhaps the only man who could have achieved positive recognition for the Gnostic approach to the message of Christ.
“…Valentinus’s own variations on the Gnostic theme includes the signal importance he gives to Sophia, the feminine emanation from the Pleroma [Fullness, Wholeness, “highest Heaven”]. Though the figure of the Divine Feminine was undoubtedly present in Gnosticism since its inception, as evidenced in the teachings of the earliest known Gnostic, Simon Magus, the myth of Sophia in particular, with all of its rich detail and dramatic elaborations, is largely the work of Valentinus.”
Bishop Hoeller then continues describing Valentinus’s teachings in his 2002 book, Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing. It’s a favorite book of mine, and I have all kinds of things scribbled in the margins including, Jesus was a facilitator of wholeness, IAO, Valentinus and the Baby (there’s a cool story about a vision Valentinus had of a newborn), and finally “Valentinus Lives!” I wrote in bold ink, followed on the next page with “Valentinus rocks!” I really love this ancient guy and am glad he can be celebrated on this day of love. Hoeller writes, “…the sublime message of this great technician of human transformation [Valentinus] who beckons to us from across nearly two millennia. Valentinus indeed lives. He was a source of inspiration and guidance for persons in every age and clime, a timeless messenger of the mysteries of the soul.” Hoeller ends with a stirring quote from Valentinus himself:
“From the very beginning have you been immortal and children of life — such life as the aeons enjoy: yet would you have death shared among you, to spend and lavish it, so that death might die in you and by your hands; for inasmuch as you dissolve the world and are not dissolved yourselves, you are lords of all creation and destruction.”
That’s the spot where I wrote, “Valentinus rocks!”
I highly recommend Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing by Stephan A. Hoeller and this beautiful colorful Gnostic calendar created by one of his priests.