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Fr. Tony



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Dear brothers and sisters, and the viewers of this web site, I am Fr. Joseph Anthony Andrade better  known as Fr. Tony Andrade. I was born and brought up in Barkur. My primary education was in Barkur. In 1980 I joined the seminary to become priest and was ordained to the Holy Order of priesthood on the 19th of December, 1992. I served a short period of time in Bangalore (India) and then went to the USA to serve in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota. Presently I am the parish priest of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church located in St. Paul, Minnesota (visit our web site:-

I Hope and pray this column "Spiritual Corner" will inspire many viewers of our web site. As all of us know the need of spirituality in our daily life. We walk our faith journey trusting in God our creator and we are certain one day we will meet our creator God in Heaven. Meanwhile here on earth we need good insights to enlighten our minds and hearts in our spiritual life. in this column I will write articles which will be short and precise that may help our interested viewers to reflect on their own spirituality. I welcome others also to share their articles and reflections. This column is open to all the faith denominations. What is important is that we inspire each other on our own spiritual journey.

My sincere thanks to Kishoo de Barkur, the designer of this beautiful web site, and for giving me this opportunity to share my thoughts and reflection on our web site.



Fr. Joseph Anthony Andrade

Dear brothers and sisters and viewers of this web site,

Every year on the 14th  of February we celebrate "Valentine's Day" around the world. This feast day is not for Christians alone, but rather is celebrated by people of all faiths who have someone special they care about.

But how many of us actually know the history and the importance of this worldwide celebration? I have found some interesting facts related to Valentine's Day and thought I would briefly share them with you. Then, when you celebrate Valentine's Day next year you will know the history and importance of this wonderful day.

The story of Valentine's Day begins in the third century with an oppressive Roman emperor and a humble Christian man. The emperor was Claudius II. The Christian was Valentinus. Claudius ordered all Romans to worship twelve gods and made it a crime, punishable by death, to associate with Christians. Valentinus was dedicated to the ideals of Christ, and not even the threat of death could keep him from practicing his religious beliefs. Claudius , a man with no love in his heart, also forbade the state of marriage and forced loved ones apart.

Valentinus, the holy man, did what he knew was right. He married men and women in the darkness of the night. When the emperor discovered this he threw Valentinus into prison and condemned him to death.

During the last weeks of Valentinus life a remarkable thing happened. Seeing that he was a man of learning, the jailer asked if his daughter, Julia, might be brought to Valentinus for lessons. Julia, a pretty young girl with a quick mind, had been blind from birth. Valentinus read stories of Rome's history to her. He described the world of nature to her, taught her arithmetic, and told her about God. She saw the world through his eyes, trusted in his wisdom, and found comfort in his quiet strength.

 "Valentinus, does God really hear our prayers?" Julia asked one day. "Yes, my child, He hears each one," he replied. "Do you know what I pray for every morning and night? I pray that I might see. I want so much to see everything you've told me about!" "God does what is best for us if we will only believe in Him," Valentinus said. "Oh, Valentinus, I do believe," Julia said intensely. She knelt, grasped his hand, and they prayed together. Suddenly, there was a brilliant light in the prison cell. Radiant, Julia cried,  "Valentinus, I can see! I can see!" "Praise be to God!" Valentinus exclaimed.

On the eve of his death, Valentinus wrote a last note to Julia, urging her to stay close to God, and signed it, "From your Valentine." His death sentence was carried out on the next day, February 14, 270 A.D., near the gate that was later named Porta Valentini, in his memory. He was buried at what is now the Church of Praxedes in Rome. It is said that Julia planted a pink blossoming almond tree near his grave.

Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship. On each February 14th., St. Valentine's Day, messages of affection, love and devotion are exchanged around the world.




Barkur, located in Udupi Taluk, Karnataka, India. 576 210

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