Happy Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day, also called St. Valentine’s Day, is a global holiday celebrating love every 14th day of February. Whether the love is between a husband and wife or two best friends, Valentines Day is a time of expressing one’s sentiment among relatives and comrades.
With the true origins of the holiday still a mystery, it is said to have derived from the Roman festival of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a massive gathering mainly celebrating the coming of spring. It included elaborate feasts, animal sacrifices, fertility rituals, and the annual pairing off of women with men by way of lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I forbid the celebration of Lupercalia and allegedly replaced it with St. Valentine’s Day, which did not come to be celebrated as a day of romance until around the 14th century.
Evidence of formal messages, also known as ‘valentines’ appear in the 1500’s, with commercially printed cards by the late 1700’s and The United States printing its first official valentine in the mid- 1800’s. Traditional gifts mainly consists of candy and flowers, in particular the rose – a symbol of beauty and love. Today, the range of gifting has drastically expanded. From cartoon character filled cards for children to share with their classmates, to special menu selections at restaurant’s, romantic hotel stays, jewelry and everything in between.
The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart. – Helen Keller
So, who do we give credit to for the legendary name Valentine? Well, there were several Christian martyrs named Valentine. One of which was a priest who was killed by emperor Claudius II Gothicus in about 270 CE. Supposedly, the priest signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended and by some accounts, healed from blindness. Other accounts say that it was Bishop St. Valentine of Terni – although it is possible the two saints were actually the same person. Another popular story states that St. Valentine defied the emperor’s orders and secretly married couples to spare the husbands from war. Whomever, the name was originally taken from, the commonality in the stories surrounding ‘St. Valentine’ is that he met his demise by actions propelled by love.
This year, as you recognize the loved one’s in your life and shower them with tokens of endearment, be sure to remember yourself as well. They say self-love, is the best love! What better way to observe a day of love, than to show some extra special attention to the person you spend most of your time with. Yourself!
Happy Valentine’s Day!