Today is St. Valentines Day!
Valentinus was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius II, known as Claudius Gothicus. He was arrested, imprisoned, and asked to renounce his faith, because he was caught marrying Christian couples which was against the law. Because of this, the priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stoned and then he was beheaded. His Christian courage and faith made him receive the torture with humility and patience. In 494 AD, Valentinus was sainted and February 14 was declared a feast day by Pope Gelasius.
Several miracles have been attributed to St. Valentine. One legend says that while in prison, he fell in love with the blind daughter of his jailer, whose sight he restored. On the eve of his death, it was said that he wrote a letter addressed to the jailer’s daughter, which was signed, "From your Valentine.’’
In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honor Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia. Young boys and girls grew up apart in those days. However, on the eve of the festival of Lupercalia, the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and they would be partners for the festival. Sometimes, the pairing lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and marry.
Stories about St. Valentine not only stress his heroism but also the romantic side of him. Today, people send candies, flowers, love letters, and gifts on February 14 in the name of St. Valentine. Married couples and lovers appeal to him for courage and strength in facing problems in their love life.
As we celebrate St. Valentine's Day with our loved ones, let us also remember the martyr and his strong faith.
Happy St. Valentine’s Day!
We love to play our love-strong hearts - song: Ching-a-ling, artist: David Bowie, album: Deram songs