World's Earliest Christian Engraving Shows Surprising Pagan Elements

Researchers have identified what is believed to be the world’s earliest surviving Christian inscription, shedding light on an ancient sect that followed the teachings of a second-century philosopher named Valentinus.

Officially called NCE 156, the inscription is written in Greek and is dated to the latter half of the second century, a time when the Roman Empire was at the height of its power.

An inscription is an artifact containing writing that is carved on stone. The only other written Christian remains that survive from that time period are fragments of papyri that quote part of the gospels and are written in ink. Stone inscriptions are more durable than papyri and are easier to display. NCE 156 also doesn’t quote the gospels directly, instead its inscription alludes to Christian beliefs.  Read more.

St. Valentinus (the supposed remains of him). This image comes from the Immortal series ,by photographer Toby deSilva, of twelve martyred saints that were removed from Rome and interred at the Waldsassen Abbey.

Today I am commemorating the anniversary of St. Valentine’s death by holding a service with his relics to honor youth and love. I hope that this will satisfy the Cupids so they will leave me alone. I find myself uncomfortable in their presence.

Gnostic Quote of the Day: “The Father opens his bosom, but his bosom is the Holy Spirit. He reveals his hidden self which is his son, so that through the compassion of the Father the Aeons may know him, end their wearying search for the Father and rest themselves in him, knowing that this is rest…They are given rest and are refreshed by the Spirit…For the Father is sweet and his will is good. He knows the things that are yours, so that you may rest yourselves in them. For by the fruits one knows the things that are yours, that they are the children of the Father, and one knows his aroma, that you originate from the grace of his countenance. For this reason, the Father loved his aroma; and it manifests itself in every place; and when it is mixed with matter, he gives his aroma to the light; and into his rest he causes it to ascend in every form and in every Sound.” (Valentinus, The Gospel of Truth, Nag Hammadi Library of Egypt)

Emblem: Basilius Valentinus’ Azoth, Paris, 1659

The Body is to be decomposed, that is one shifts one’s awareness to the inner self. The planets are both stages of the process and energies in the body to be transmuted. The Saturn star is black as Saturn reigns over Nigredo. Sun and Moon are the opposites to be united, and fire and air are the elements stimulating the decomposition. The black crow is another symbol for Nigredo. The two birds coming out of the body are the soul and the spirit. One needs to become aware of one’s soul and spirit. The circle emphasizes the idea of union or unification.
The Gnostic origins of Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays most people take for granted but know very little about. And that is because its origins are as mysterious as love itself.

Originally known as the Feast of Valentinus (Latin for ‘worthy’), this holiday was established by Pope Galasius in the Fifth Century. The problem is that nobody really knows whichValentinus it was dedicated to! Traditionally, the leading candidate is an obscure priest martyred by the Roman Emperor Claudius in the Third Century.

But wouldn’t a far better template for Saint Valentine be an individual who actually championed the exploration of love in an era when Christianity stressed either celibacy or sex for procreation only?

And that would be the Gnostic Heretic, Valentinus of Alexandria.

One needed to recognize the Father, the depth of all being, as the true source of divine power in order to achieve gnosis (knowledge).[9] The Valentinians believed that the attainment of this knowledge by the human individual had positive consequences within the universal order and contributed to restoring that order,[10] and that gnosis, not faith, was the key to salvation.

The transition from the immaterial to the material, from the noumenal to the sensible, is brought about by a flaw, or a passion, or a sin, in the female Aeon Sophia.

A figure entirely peculiar to Valentinian Gnosticism is that of Horos (the Limiter). The name is perhaps an echo of the Egyptian Horus.[18]

The task of Horos is to separate the fallen Aeons from the upper world of Aeons. At the same time he becomes a kind of world-creative power, who in this capacity helps to construct an ordered world out of Sophia and her passions.

God and the creator were two separate entities… the creator was flawed and formed man and Earth out of ignorance and confusion.