Consider this to be your reminder that Valentine’s Day is next week – so make sure you run out and find that perfect card and present, order the flowers and make those dinner reservations!
Love is the main theme of stories, songs, television shows, etc. and it is certainly the reason for the Valentine’s Day season.
Modern folks have shortened the name of this day of love. It had long been called St. Valentine’s Day.
But did you know there were several Valentines in ancient times, including a Pope Valentine, and there is some dispute as to which Valentine is the one whose name is used for the one day of the year when love is officially observed?
The man called Valentine and who was named a saint died around 270 AD.
But if you have pondered the question what would you do for love, the Valentine who might seem worthy to be remembered on February 14 each year was a Father Valentine who lived in the 1400s AD.
Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he thought marriage was an unwelcome distraction for his soldiers. Without the bonds of matrimony, the emperor felt his men were much better soldiers.
Father Valentine did not like this edict from the emperor and he secretly married Christian soldiers.
This defiance of the emperor’s rule led to the imprisonment and execution of Father Valentine, who supposedly had fallen in love himself and wrote a letter in prison that he signed “from your Valentine.”
The official St. Valentine of Rome may be honored by most people in the name of love, but he is also the patron saint of beekeepers, travelers and he is the saint appealed to for intervention against several diseases such as the plague and epilepsy.
St. Valentine’s skull was found near Rome in the 1800s and can be seen in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Italy.
The date of February 14 to honor St. Valentine is questionable with some saying it is the date of St. Valentine’s death in 270 AD and others asserting it was set up as a way to promote a Christian festival over an existing pagan festival.
The connection between flowers and love stems from the 1700s when the poetic language of flowers was popular in Europe. Books were written identifying each flower with human emotions. Red roses were linked to Venus, the Goddess of Love, and men have been purchasing roses for their beloved ever since that time. Cupid was the son of Venus and his name is Latin for love, which explains how Cupid pushed into the St. Valentine’s Day theme.
The tradition of Valentine’s Day cards started in the 1800s and each year, about one billion Valentine’s Day cards are purchased.
Explaining these interesting Valentine’s Day facts will not suffice next week when February 14 rolls around. Make sure you get out into our local shops, find something special for your significant other and make a reservation at one of Cecil County’s many great restaurants.