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Valentine’s Day: Special Gifts for that Special Someone

Posted: January 27, 2016 | Author: Fr. Leo

February is almost here, which begs the question:  Have you thought about your plans for Valentine's Day? Perhaps you and your spouse have dinner plans at a fancy restaurant, or you will be bringing your spouse some chocolates and flowers. These are very nice, especially if they are out of the ordinary. But then again, those are practically a given, whether you are going on a first date or on your 1,000th date, so why not think outside of the box a bit. This Valentine's Day, I have two special gifts that will make you fall in love all over again, and aim to change your life and relationship forever. 

1) A signed copy of Spicing Up Married Life at a special price (Limited time)

My second cookbook, Spicing Up Married Life, is a special book for me as a priest and as a son, as I dedicated it to my mother and father after they showed me what makes a strong marriage. A perfect resource for couples that is set up in 12 easy to read chapters that go over different stages in your relationship, from your first date to the Golden Anniversary, each chapter contains a lesson, conversation starters, a prayer, and even a place to reflect, all to be done together with your spouse. Not to mention a gourmet meal that you can prepare together, getting the tastes of that fancy restaurant you're considering but from the comfort of your home and through an unmatched experience of love (and sometimes, humility) in the kitchen. With 12 chapters, you can have a month-aversary, reading and cooking a chapter each month, and benefiting from the time spent together. And if your spouse loves chocolate, just wait until you prepare some of the delicious recipes, like the passion fruit white chocolate mousse. Just sayin'. And you can get this special book 10% off, signed by yours truly. Just go to and use the promo code "vday2016" to get 10% off of your entire purchase. A strong family life should start with a strong marriage and relationship, so I hope to be part of helping to make it stronger. 

Chocolate Fondu Sauce & Fresh Fruit Skewers. One of many delicious chocolatey desserts that you and your spouse will be sure to love. 

2) A special Roman Holiday Retreat for Couples to Italy on May 12-21, 2016 with Fr. Leo, radio host Teresa Tomeo and her husband, Dcn. Dom Pastore. 


Many of you may know that I love Italy. It is holds a special place in my heart forever, as I went to seminary at the Pontifical North American College, learned many of my cooking skills in Perugia, and is home to some of my favorite locales and cuisine. I lead many pilgrimages out there, including 4 different trips this year. But I want to encourage you to consider this special Holiday Retreat made just for couples. Many people are in search for true love, and this trip is such a special way to discover how and where to find it: through faith in God. This is the second trip I am leading with notable Catholic radio host Teresa Tomeo and her husband, Deacon Dom Pastore, and it was truly a remarkable and unique experience for all involved the first time we did it in 2014.


A cooking class I led with chefs in Italy back in 2014, along with Teresa Tomeo and her husband, Dcn. Dom Pastore and our group of pilgrims.

Whether we were celebrating Mass, dining at incredible local eateries to get a real taste of Italy, or basking in the Amalfi Coast, the pilgrimage is bound to rank up there with your favorite trip or even alongside your honeymoon. You can hear a recent interview I had with Teresa Tomeoon her radio show "CatholicConnection" by visiting the following link: (starts at 16:45), where we go into greater detail about the fruits of this life-changing pilgrimage. I encourage you to give a most special gift to your loved one this holiday and join us on a holy and romantic retreat. Register today by clicking the image above or HERE.

It doesn't get much more beautiful than the Amalfi Coast. Click to listen to my radio interview with Teresa Tomeo on Catholic Connection.

But what about if you're single? 

Of course, all of you who are single, please know that this Valentine's Day should not be a depressing time. Take it from me, a priest who is called to the perpetual single life, married to the bride of Christ, the Church. Consider Valentine's Day to be an opportunity to show acts of love for your fellow man, acting out of kindness for people, regardless of whether you have a date lined up or not. Perhaps you can call a friend or family member you haven't spoken to in a long time, or invite someone from your community who you know would appreciate some company. You can make them a special meal from your family recipe books, from one of my cookbooks, or from my plethora of recipes found at, along with the recipes from my cooking show "Savoring Our Faith", found at And of course, if you want to share one of my resources, the promo code vday2016 still works to take 10% off your entire purchase, so if there is a special person you'd like to give a gift, consider an autographed copy of any of my books, adding an authentic touch to an authentic gift of love.

And if you are a college student, I want to invite you the University Catholic Conference of California 2016 in Davis CA which is on February 12-15, 2016. My presentation is at 9am-10:30am on Valentine's Day, and is sure to give you the preparation and training of the heart that you need as you seek to live out your faith. Other speakers include my friend Paul J Kim, Emily Wilson, and Maria Cahill. You can register by going HERE, but be aware that registration ends Friday, January 29, so register today!

Let us pray:

Dear Father in Heaven, we thank you for creating us in your image, and for the relationships we have in our lives to draw us closer toYour love. We pray for all people who are in need of Your mercy, whether married or single, happy or sad. May the work we do and resources we provide for others be helpful in building stronger relationships and growing our faith in You. As we share in our love for one another, we offer You praise and thanksgiving for all these things that we have. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 


Food for Thought:

1)  What was your most memorable Valentine's Day and why?

2) What was the most special gift you have given your spouse? 

3) Have you experienced Spicing Up Married Life with your spouse? How were the lessons, recipes and meals? Please share your experiences.