Do you know why it's called Valentine's?!?!?!?
I realize that I certainly had no clue, until I heard the story the other day on the radio and was fascinated. It just absolutely NEVER occurred to me to question the origins of the holiday. I mean, wasn't I supposed to be taught this is grade school or something? (lol) Anyway...perhaps because, in the States, it's such a commercial deal that I just push it way back in my brain and register it just as something on the calendar. Plus, sad to say, I've never had a "happy" valentine's day. I've never had a Valentine. Every year it comes... and I hope, but alas, it always slips away. So most times, I wait patiently until it's over.
This year, this is my attempt to NOT ignore the holiday. To at least learn the origin, appreciate Mr. "Saint Valentine" for his contribution that has come down through the ages. And I want to share it with you... just in case you didn't know...
Disclaimer: There are different stories, different versions, but my research pointed to this as the most tried.
Saint Valentine is said to have lived in Rome during the third century, after the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the movement of Christianity. During this time Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius, the second. Many did not like him.
Emperor Claudius II was having trouble getting men to serve in his army. He felt many men would not volunteer to join because they did not want to leave the comforts of home, their wives and families, and so he believed single men made better soldiers than those that were married. With this thought in mind he outlawed marriage for young men in hopes of building a stronger military base. So Emperor Claudius decreed and passed a new law which ceased all marriages.
(…how awfully selfish…ugh)
Most people thought this new law was cruel. Valentine, a minister, was one of them, and he refused to support it. In fact, Valentine thought that this law and many of the decrees of Rome were wrong starting with worship and spirituality. He believed that people should be free to love God and consequently free to marry, a sacred union by God. So Valentine invited the young couples of the area to come to him. When they came, Valentine secretly performed services of matrimony and united the couples.
One night, Valentine was caught and brought before the emperor. Emperor Claudius II saw that Valentine had conviction and drive that was unsurpassed among his men. So he did what any general would do. He tried to persuade Valentine to leave Christianity, serve the Roman empire and the Roman gods, and his army. In exchange, Claudius would pardon him, and even make him one of his allies. But Valentine held to his faith and his belief and acknowledgement in God. He did not renounce Christ or the sanctity and free will of marriage.
Because of this refusal, the Emperor Claudius sentenced Valentine to death. But not just any plain old death. It was to be a three-part execution to be seen as an example. First, Valentine would be beaten, then stoned, and then finally, decapitated.
While in prison, waiting for his sentence to be carried out, many young people came to visit Valentine. One was the daughter of the prison guard, the blind Asterius. Valentine fell in love with her.
During the course of Valentine's prison stay, a miracle occurred and Asterius regained her sight. On the day of his death Valentine wrote a note to Asterius signed "Love, from your Valentine". This was his last message. It was February 14, 269 A.D.
(what a story, right?!? :P)
After death, Valentine was sainted as Saint Valentine and February 14th was proclaimed as Valentine's Day.
Some say Valentine's last note to Asterius started the custom of exchanging love messages on "Valentine's Day". Others say it was the many notes actually received by Valentine as he waited in jail. They were said to be from Rome's young people in gratitude to him for preserving love. Either way, Valentine's words to Asterius of "from your valentine" remains as the motto for our Valentine's Day celebrations.
And in 2011, some 1700 years later, Valentine lives on strongly... all around the world...
Happy Valentine's Day everyone.... Love for God, Love for self, love for the person who holds your heart, love for family and friends... love for life.
...for reading. Leave me a note... I love that!
"If at first you don't succeed... try, try again."
With man, this is possible. With GOD, ALL things are possible.
*all compiled from www.kaboose.com, Arthur, IL school website and lhmint.org*