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Valentine’s Day – A Many Splendored Thing

February 14, 2014
Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day

If you were a woman who lived before the end of the 5th century, you most likely would not have experienced any romantic gestures in celebration of St. Valentine. You more than likely would not have been given one morsel of chocolate or a rose, nor would you have had a song dedicated to you or even shown a single image of a heart.

Know why? Because Pope Gelasius I would not have yet officially declared February 14th to be St. Valentine’s Day. Also, authors who publicized the romantic aspect of Valentine’s Day further like Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer had not yet helped spread the word to the masses.

What’s all the fuss about St. Valentine, you ask. Historians tell us we have to back up to the 3rd Century AD and Emperor Claudius II. The Roman Empire was divided into three partitioned states that existed in a constant state of fear of invasion and attack by the others. The military was an extremely important and serious component to the Roman Emperor and it was his belief that the men in his army performed much better if they were unmarried. So, as Emperor, he banned marriages.

Valentine's Day 1

Valentine’s Day 1

However, St. Valentine, a Priest who served in the Empire under Claudius secretly performed marriages. Time and time again, he sanctioned hidden marriages and eventually, despite his love of God and of love, was caught and met with a death that was extremely violent and not in the least bit romantic.

The story gets better. St. Valentine, fell in love with Claudius’ daughter and sent her a note, telling her about how he felt. When he completed the note, he signed it “Your Valentine.” Thus, we have the birth of the tradition of sending those we love a card on Valentine’s Day.

Spending Money

Spending Money

What nobody could see coming, however, was the unbelievably high cost of a Hallmark Valentine’s card in the year of our Lord 2014. I don’t know about you, but I almost choked when I saw that a basic 10-15 word card would set a love-struck romantic back more than $5! If a child has a few teachers they want to acknowledge on Valentine’s Day, you’re looking at a couple of week’s worth of allowance.

Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

From → History, Holiday

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