Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Little Valentines History...!

While nearly all of us know when Valentine's day is celebrated, but do we know why?

One popular story from History.com covers the origin of this special day, but it's origin may just surprise you. I know it did me!

Feb 14, 278:
St. Valentine beheaded

On February 14 around the year 278 A.D., Valentine, a holy priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed.

Under the rule of Claudius the Cruel, Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families.

To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.

When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 270.

Legend also has it that while in jail, St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine."

For his great service, Valentine was named a saint after his death.

In truth, the exact origins and identity of St. Valentine are unclear. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of 14 February." One was a priest in Rome, the second one was a bishop of Interamna (now Terni, Italy) and the third St. Valentine was a martyr in the Roman province of Africa.

Legends vary on how the martyr's name became connected with romance. The date of his death may have become mingled with the Feast of Lupercalia, a pagan festival of love. On these occasions, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius decided to put an end to the Feast of Lupercalia, and he declared that February 14 be celebrated as St Valentine's Day.

Gradually, February 14 became a date for exchanging love messages, poems and simple gifts such as flowers.

I think I would much rather celebrate this day for the reasons that we do now, than to remember the fate of St Valentine as told here! Wouldn't you?

Anyway, for all the ladies this morning, a little something special!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. And BTW...the chocolate is to be shared by everyone, OK?


Sella said...

Hey HermitJim, Just spoke to my mom yesterday she is in Texas...said she got some snow!! Hope you are keeping warm.
P.S. I love your post, thanks for the "little something special" today!!

/grabs coffee cup.. cheers!!

Ben in Texas said...

Neat story Hermit, BUT you and all of us know the real reason for Valentines Day.
It's just so the 1,469+ Candy and Confectionery companies and the 30,000+ florists in this country can get a boost to their bank account early in the year.

linda m said...

I agree with you, Jim. I would rather think of this day as a day for love not death. Thank you for the rose and chocolates.

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

Happy Valentines's Day to you, too!
Chocolates? Yum!

Baby Sis said...

Bubba -
Thanks for the rose and chocolates - just save a piece of the special dark for me, ok? You'll always be one of my special heroes and special valentines.

I don't say it often enough, but I Love You, Bubba!

Ellen said...

Happy Valentine's Day! Thank you for the welcoming coffee (and treats) all year long.

JO said...

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY SPECIAL ONE, thanks for the rose and chocolate to go with our morning coffee.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sella...
Luckily here in Houston, we only get snow about every 5 or 6 years. This year we haven't even had a freeze!

I appreciate the thought, though, and the visit today!

Hey Ben...
Your probably right about that!

Doing what we can to spread the wealth, I guess!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!

Hey Linda...
Makes for a much nicer memory, doesn't it?

I hope you have a great day and thanks for coming by!

Hey Phyllis...
You are certainly more than welcome for the specials today!

We all know what a dull world we would have without the ladies around!

Than you for dropping in!

Hey Sis...
Dark chocolate it is! I hate to say it, but I don't care for the dark chocolate anyway!

Wonder if they make a dark chocolate coco?

Thanks for the nice words and the visit!

Hey Ellen...
Believe me, it's my pleasure!

I'm certainly glad you enjoyed the post...and glad you could come by today!

Hey JoJo...
Anything for you, sweetie!

Bet you get some more chocolates and valentine wishes today, but most likely they will be the eating kind!

I certainly appreciate you coming by today!

TROUBLEnTX said...

We have to have a romance day! Thx for choc and rose. HAGD

BBC said...

The modern valentines day is only here for capitalists to suck money out of suckers, it hasn't got shit to do with a mental sickness called love or romance.