|Rory's Block Valentine Heart|
An internet search revealed an interesting array of possibilities, but it seems that there was actually a person named Valentine. Or maybe there were three.
The most popular legend seems to be that Valentine was a priest in anti-Christian third century Rome. He was either helping Christians escape prison, or secretly marrying people against the wishes of the Emperor. He was eventually imprisoned himself, and was subsequently beheaded for his beliefs.
February 14th is either the date of Valentine's beheading around 270 A.D., or an attempt by the church to "Christianize" a pagan fertility festival which was held in mid-february. It was designated as Saint Valentine's Day by Pope Gelasius around 498 A.D.
So, the "Hallmark Holiday" we celebrate today has a much more serious history than we generally hear. It's interesting to me that our secular society has managed to hijack most of our Christian holidays, which were originally hijacked from pagan festivals. Is it a return to their true origins?
Well, secularized or not, I think this is one holiday worth keeping. It is a day to remember those we love, and especially to remember to show it! So, if you haven't gotten to the store yet, there's still time. Or, there's always the homemade version (see Rory's Block Valentine Heart, above!) And to all my readers - Happy Valentine's Day to you!
Valentine's Day history articles:
- This is the article I used for this post: http://www.mydearvalentine.com/valentine/history/
- This is rather tongue-in-cheek, but I found it fun to read! http://www.trincoll.edu/zines/tj/tj02.10.94/articles/article1.html
- This is a nice history to read to kids, plus it has more reference links and ideas. http://www.just4kidsmagazine.com/stvalentine.html