The Lesson is taken from a Sermon by St. Augustine the Bishop
Sermo 44 de Sanctis
The illustrious day whereon the blessed Martyr Valentine conquered, doth this day come round to us again : and as the Church doth rejoice with him in his glory, so doth she set before us his footsteps to be followed. For if we suffer, we shall also reign with him. In his glorious battle we have two things chiefly to consider : the hardened cruelty of the tormentor, and the unconquered patience of the Martyr : the cruelty of the tormentor, that we may abhor it ; the patience of the Martyr, that we may imitate it. Hear what the Psalmist saith, complaining against sin : Fret not thyself because of the ungodly, for they shall soon be cut down like the grass. But touching the patience which is to be shewn against the ungodly, hear the word wherewith the Apostle moveth us : Ye have need of patience, that ye may receive the promise.