Paraphrased from Wikipedia: “Valentine’s Day originated as a Western Christian Feast Day and is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.
Some stories tell of Saint Valentine of Rome who was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry, and for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his judge, and before his execution he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell. (One would think the judge would have forgiven him!)
The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th Century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-Century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards known as valentines. Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th Century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.”
I always find it fascinating how certain traditions evolve. And Valentine’s Day is one I have always personally enjoyed. I remember having a crush on several different boys in Elementary School and waiting with great excitement to see if the valentines I received from them in class were extra special or signed with any particular sentiment of love. And when they were I was “over the moon.”
This continued through many years on a more mature level, of course. Now, I have fun sending valentine cards to my sons and grandchildren! After all, why should we ever limit our expressions of love? I like to think of it as a day when we can give a valentine card to anyone in order to uplift his or her spirits.
What other ways can you think of to express your love and appreciation to others currently in your life? Sometimes these “holidays” and other reminders can nudge us to take even a small action that makes a difference. “Living love” is the Unity theme this month. We can ask, “What does ‘living love’ look like for me today?”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
With love, Kathy