Valentine’s Day… the day of love or at least that is what we tend to think of when we think of this day. Yet who was Valentine and was his story so romantic that it led to a day we celebrate each year as we look to those we love?
Ironically, according to historical accounts (www.history.com) Saint Valentine was a holy priest in Rome who was executed on February 14th. Why? Well apparently, Rome was under the rule of Claudius the Cruel who banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. It is said that Roman men were unwilling to join the army due to their attachment to their wives and families. This ban was an attempt to remedy this issue. And yet, Valentine defied the Emperor Claudius II and continued to perform marriages in secret. As you can now guess, Claudius found out and had Valentine beheaded.
There are other accounts in research that talk about love letters exchanged with a jailer’s daughter and even possibilities of other saints or martyrs named Valentine but I am not sure how much truth they hold. In 496 AD, Pope Galasius declared February 14th to be celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day and this is the day we now know as a day to exchange messages of love, gifts, flowers, candies and the like.
I’ll be honest in that I have never really celebrated Valentine’s Day—at least not in the conventional way of a fancy dinner out with my husband. This is my choice simply because I find restaurants overly crowded and most times, the quality of food and service suffers due to this. That being said, I do believe it is important to celebrate those we love and those close to us, whether we do that on Valentine’s Day or not. It can’t hurt to have it as a reminder, especially as we get absorbed by all the directions life pulls us in.
Take care and Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.