A day or two ago I wrote an entry about an historic event that happened during February 14. Thought I’d get into a little bit about the Saint from the same date.
There are many Legends about Valentine’s Day, why it’s celebrated today, the real reason behind it, what it really is about. I thought I would get into the depth of that certain day and celebration.
St. Valentine (Valentinus in Latin) was a Christian priest who served in the 3rd century in Rome, Italy. After the Emperor Claudius banned marriage because he thought single men were better soldiers than married men, St. Valentine started marrying people in secret. Now, when Valentine was discovered marrying people in secret, he was sentenced to death by the Emperor.
Saint Valentine was buried on the Via Flaminia north of Rome, on February 14. He was killed in the martyrdom way, a type of death when refusing to advocate a belief, generally in religion. The word martyr means ‘Witness’. So what is it we are basically celebrating? There comes a time where you have to lay your life upon the line for what you believe, and that’s what he pretty much did, I think, or at least feels like.
The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished (I posted an entry about courtly love and you can read it here) In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other. But personally I don’t think true love can be expressed once a year as part of a superficial holiday, you should show it often in your acts, words and beyond. You shouldn’t wait for a certain day to show the people you love, that you love them.
The European belief is that the second week of February was when birds began to mate. The idea suggests that lovers should probably exchange notes and gifts on February 14, so then Valentine’s Day was observed as a special day for love and romance. But as you see, it had to do with birds (if you believe that legend), but not Valentine, which the day is named after.. ?
Since Saint Valentine being a Christians priest and all, should even none believers and none Christians be allowed to even celebrate this? Christian church leaders in Rome didn’t like the celebration, but it was too popular to be able for them to end.
There’s also the Feast of Saint Valentine, an official feast day in the Anglican Communion. Though actually celebrated on July 6th.
But being associated with romance has nothing to do with the two saints, (one a Roman priest and another the bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) neither of whom had a clear connection to lovers, but to do with belief, about the birds as I mentioned and eventually the thought of romance came to dominate though the Church certainly does not teach that Valentine’s Day should be celebrated in connection with romance. So, personally I think that if people don’t really know the meaning of it, or what it’s about, they shouldn’t celebrate it, that simple.
But now, my second “way” of seeing this, and why it’s possible it was named after him, he did marry people in secret..? Even though it was banned, he did it anyways, helping couples. He risked his life for them and doing it, and was even killed for it. So I could see the “love connection”, but still the birds seems more legit somehow. So I guess there are many ways of seeing this, but if I would dig even deeper into this topic/subject which I will since I find it truly interesting, I’m sure I would find out more, now I’m just writing what I know, and how I see it from my point of view, my thoughts and opinion on it.