Many of you are probably on the customary sugar high that traditionally comes with Valentine’s Day.
While you’re savoring those chocolate morsels nested in heart-shaped boxes, take pause to consider the origins and true meaning of the holiday.
According to History.com, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.
“One legend 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. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret,” according to the website.
It is said by the Middle Ages, Valentine became one of the most popular saints in England and France.
Some believe 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 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.
During the Fifth Century Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14 St. Valentine’s Day.
But it wasn’t until much later that the holiday became associated with love.
In fact, during the Middle Ages the same date was believed to be the beginning of birds’ mating season.
Whatever origins you believe, Valentine’s Day is a day of love.
Whether it’s the love between a husband and wife, parent and child or friends, take time today to appreciate the love in your life.
I’ve been blessed with a lot of love in my life, not just from my family, but amazing friends.
I have friends, who even though I moved three hours away, send me get well soon cards when I get the flu.
I have thoughtful, caring friends.
Today, as the taste of chocolate leaves my mouth, I will remember the taste only lasts mere moments, but special relationships will last a lifetime.
— Megan Hansen, Editor