The history behind one of the most notable days of the year, Valentine’s Day.
By: Walter Redden
Every Valentine’s Day immediately brings hugs and kisses to the family, and red roses for the sweetheart. Red roses were the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. Each February 14th across the nation, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones. This is done as an act in the name of St. Valentine.
Who is this mysterious saint?
Where did these traditions originate?
Long ago, the Roman Emperor, Constantine, legalized Christianity in Rome. So in 380 A.D., Christianity became the official state religion of the Roman Empire. Pagans, however, who adopted Christianity, did not entirely abandon the traditions and practices they held before their “conversion”. A tradition brought into the church was the fertility celebration called Lupercalia, which eventually became the Valentine holiday. In 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius named February 14th to honor St. Valentine as the patron saint of lovers. The true origin of Valentine’s Day is rooted in the worship of false gods. It has no Biblical basis.
However, Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate romance, love and kisses. As years passed, the holiday grew even sweeter. Chaucer and Shakespeare romanticized in their various works. Handmade paper cards were popular even in the middle ages. In 1913, Hallmark cards of Kansas City, MO, began mass producing Valentine’s Day cards.
Today, this holiday is big business. Sales this year will total nearly $20 billion. The celebration goes on, in varied ways. Many people will spend huge amounts on jewelry and flowers for their loved ones.
-Money can buy everything but happiness.
Whatever is your method of celebration, have a beautiful and happy Valentine’s Day.