Today is the day we all show a bit more love than the other 365 days this year (it’s a leap year, remember?). To some it’s just another Hallmark Holiday. A day created for the retailers. For the flower shops and the chocolate makers. There is a history to it, though. And it dates back farther than you might think.
Back in the days of the Roman Empire, some 2,000 years ago, on February 14th all the girls would write their name and place it in a jar. Then each boy would draw a name and the maiden they drew would be their partner for the duration of the festival that would begin the following day. Naturally, a few of these pairings would last until the couple fell in love and got married.
However, Claudius later banned this act as he saw fewer men joining the military because they didn’t want to leave behind their wife and children. He forbid engagements and marriages thereby causing them to held secretly. A priest by the name of Valentine performed the rituals behind closed doors. However, like all good things, Valentine was discovered, captured, and thrown in jail.
The couples he had wed in secret sent him cards and letters of encouragement. In jail is also where he fell in love with the jailer’s blind daughter. He penned a letter to his love and signed it “From Your Valentine”. He was executed the following day for his crimes. Sometime after his death, it is believed the jailer’s daughter miraculously regained her sight. Most say it was true love that brought it back.
To this day, we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day by sending cards and letters of love just as Valentine’s supporters sent to him while he was jailed. Just as Valentine sent a letter to his love. It brings new meaning to the question, “Will you be my Valentine?”
Yes, of course I will DW.