Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hey there, Valentine

So, Monday is that holiday.  For some it is a day of romance.  Others, it is renamed Single Awareness Day.  Then there are others who could care less; after all, Valentine's Day is a Hallmark and Hershey created holiday, right?

One Valentine's Day book I find to be interesting is Saint Valentine, by Robert Sabuda.  That's right, Valentine's Day does have a history beyond corporate sales.  Even though there is more to this story than told here by Sabuda, one important reason for Valentine's Day was to send messages to ones we love, as St. Valentine did for one girl.  The jailer's daughter had been blind since birth.  Valentine, who was a preacher and a physician, was able to heal her sight. The next day, before his execution (as a Christian martyr), he sent the girl a compassionate letter signed "from your Valentine." 

It is also said that Valentine's Day is rooted from the "Roman feast of Lupercalia, which took place on February 15th, [the day after Valentine's execution]. One of the customs on this occasion involved the writing of love messages by maidens..."  Though unmentioned in this book, I have also heard it said that near this time the Roman emperor outlawed marriage to increase his army in numbers.  However, the army size decreased because men went to war to fight for their families, not to solely fight bloody battles or to please the emperor.  Therefore, it could also be said that Valentine's Day is a celebration of marriage.

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