Welcome back everyone! This was a special week, a holiday week for sweethearts, lovers, and also for anyone who desires to extend their love and affection to the special valentine in their lives.
February 14, Valentine’s Day, is also known as The Feast of Saint Valentine, which is celebrated worldwide, even though it’s not officially considered a holiday on other countries’ calendars. The Feast of Saint Valentine is observed by many spiritual, Christian and Non-Denominational churches by sending greeting cards and gifts, and hosting services in churches such as:
- Anglican Communion
- Eastern Orthodox Churches
- Lutheran Churches
- Catholic Churches
- Non-Denominational Churches
Here are some historical, fun facts many of you may not know. Christian martyrs were named “Valentine.” Examples included: the Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and the Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae). Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 496 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. Another relic was Valentine of Terni from Dublin, Ireland, who was from the Carmelite Church. This man became a bishop around AD 197 and is said to have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian. Both Valentines were buried on the Via Flaminia.
Valentine legends are fascinating. The first was The Golden Legend, which, according to Henry Ansgar Kelly, was told centuries after it happened, and widely repeated. On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he wrote the first “valentine” card himself and addressed it to the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. The card was signed “Your Valentine.” The expression “From your Valentine” was later adopted by modern Valentine letters. This legend has since been used by both American Greetings and The History Channel.
Another legend I didn’t know about was that Saint Valentine supposedly wore a purple amethyst ring with an image of Cupid engraved on it. The ring was customarily worn on the hands of Christian bishops. Cupid was a recognizable symbol associated with love that was legal under the Roman Empire; Roman soldiers would recognize the ring and ask these bishops to perform a marriage ceremony for them. More than likely, due to the association with Saint Valentine, the amethyst, which is thought to attract love, then became the birthstone for February.
This romantic holiday, the Feast of Saint Valentine, is observed in other countries like: China, Finland, Estonia, France, Greece, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Latin America, the Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Scandinavia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Wales, although their customs and celebrations are more limited in marketing efforts compared to the US.
I’d like to wish everyone worldwide a Happy Valentine’s Day or Happy Feast of Saint Valentine! May everyone extend love and affection around the world on this day and beyond!
From Your Valentine,
Debra M. Pauli
* References from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia