We will send gifts and flowers to each other on Valentine’s Day. Where do we come from?
The Men Behind Valentine’s Day: No one really knows for sure if Valentine’s Day came from one particular story or an amalgam of stories passed down through the ages. We’re not really even sure if the origin stories that are told in the holiday’s honor can be trusted at all.
To start understanding the history of Valentine’s Day, it is essential that we begin with St. Valentine himself and the different myths behind the man. One such legend is that St. Valentine was a priest in Christian times who went against an edict from the emperor that young men should not be married as it would negatively affect their worth as soldiers.
Valentine refused to honor the command and performed weddings for young lovers in spite being expressly forbidden by his government. The action led to his execution, martyring him in the name of love. Another such story says that Valentine was really a man locked away in a Roman prison, who fell in love with his jailor’s daughter and sent the world’s first Valentine – a love note to her – before he died. Whichever story you choose to believe, it is for certain that Valentine was a man, who believed in love, a central topic in the understanding of why we celebrate it today.
The Reasons Behind Valentine’s Day: Either of the above stories, along with another that says Valentine was a man, who helped Christians escape torment and death in Roman prisons, illustrates why we celebrate the holiday today. It is supposed to be representative of selfless, sacrificial love.
It is a day that we all decide to show the people most important to us just how important they are. No matter, who you believe Valentine to be, he was most certainly a man who valued love above even that of his personal safety. This fact leads us to the central question:
Why Celebrate Valentine’s Day?: Why do we continue to put stock in such antiquated stories and traditions? Different people have different reasons. For some, Valentine’s Day is just another empty material holiday. For others, it is a time to celebrate their commitment and relationships.
For others, it is purely physical. A perfect celebration embraces the best of all three. Love is physical. Love is fun. Love is spiritual.
On this day we need to give each other more care and love.