HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
First off, let me wish you a passionate and love filled day on today as you express and share in the bonds that you share with your special person. It truly is a beautiful thing when you are in a strong relationship, or marriage, that brings out the best in you and awakens your soul. Love is the reason why we exist, and without it, life would not be worth living. God is Love, and so are we.
While this day represents a day for sharing and professing our love for another person, are you aware of how the holiday got it’s start?
The history of Valentine’s Day isn’t exactly clear, but what we do know is that February has long been celebrated as the official month for love and romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, is a result of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?
$4 Billion annually are spent on jewelry as Valentines Day Gifts.
The Catholic Church speaks of at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus. One version of the story contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men so that they would be strong and prepared for war. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
More than 220 Million roses are produced each year on the holiday.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the time the Middle Ages arrived, thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.
THE ORIGINS OF VALENTINE’S DAY: A PAGAN HOLIDAY
While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.
Americans spend almost $20 Billion on Valentines Day.
While the stories are wide and varied as to the origins of the holiday, the fact remains that Valentines day is the one day in the United States and around the world where the essence of love and human connection take hold to people, both single, and in marriages and relationships.
1 Billion Valentines Cards are sent each year second to the Christmas holiday.
In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.
A recent study suggests that almost 6 million couples will get engaged on Valentines Day.
While the luxuries of the holiday give us a one day euphoric high we should understand that LOVE is an everyday, all the time deal. It’s not just for Valentines Day, but Valentines Day should be everyday. Love knows no limits, has no boundaries, and sets conditions. When you love, you love all the time, through the difficulties and challenges, when you are at your worse and when they are at their worse.
Today is about more than love on Valentines Day, it’s a reminder of how we should be loving each other, everyday.
Enjoy today, and focus on love!
Stay in Love, and Peace.
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