February 14 is known throughout the world as Valentines day; a romantic day dedicated to gifting of red roses, chocolates, candies, chubby cherubs and arrows by couples. Many young couples often look forward to a night out romantic getaway on that special day.
One uncommon school of thought is that the day has its roots in traditional Catholicism and, more specifically, in a much more dissimilar concept of love.
Although not much of St. Valentine’s life is reliably known, at least two individuals by the name of Valentinus (Valentine) in the third century in Rome have been associated with the holiday, it is highly agreed that St. Valentine was martyred during the reign of the Roman empire and buried in the present day Via Flaminia Basilica to the north of Rome.
The first version of the story accounts of a Christian priest in Rome, named Valentine, who defied orders from Emperor Claudius II (at that time) who restricted young men from getting married because of lack of troops to fight rival powers as he was in dire need. This created an exceeding urge of young lovers who wished nothing but to be together hence prompting Valentine a Priest at that time to step in and wed young couples in secret; upon being realized by Emperor Claudius II, he was beheaded for his actions.
Another version narrates that valentine helped persecuted Christians during the early church escape their tormentors, Valentine was arrested and presumably brought before Claudius II, Valentine and Claudius supposedly exchanged a few words in matters regarding faith and Christianity, the emperor (Claudius) offered to spare Valentine if he renounced Jesus Christ, which he did not. Following this, the priest was beaten and then beheaded.
Another version narrates that he was arrested and thrown into prison for spreading Christianity in the Roman empire which was disregarded and punishable for practicing it at that time, while in prison, he was often visited by grateful couples who would bring him flowers. He then later fell for his jailor’s daughter, who, in one variant of the story, was blind and Valentine healed her, this moved his jailor and his household to accept Christianity.
In 1969, the Roman Catholic Church removed St. Valentine from the General Roman Calendar, because so little is known about him. However, the church still recognizes him as a saint, and patron of love listing him in the February 14 spot of Roman Martyrs.
Despite its mix of pagan and Christian symbolism, Valentine’s Day is celebrated almost internationally, although in different manners. For some, it is a Christian holiday, a feast that commemorates Saint Valentine’s sacrifices for love, while the secular world looks at it in a more romantic lens, many of which are not parallel with Christian values such as premarital or extramarital intimacy. Many couples chose to celebrate Valentine’s Day with dinner, a picnic, exchange of cards, gifts of red rose flowers and above all a thought-free day to exchange sexual desires amongst couples.
Leave a Reply