Valentine’s Day is Monday, so if you need to run out and buy something you might want to do so. I’m not one for supporting “corporate created holidays”, but if it keeps you out of trouble and warms your heart just a little, then in the words of Austin Icon Kinky Friedman, “Why the hell not?”
But where did Valentine’s Day originate? I remember being told as a child a tale of a man who was persecuted during Roman times who was put in jail and who only wanted to spread love. I think these days if someone was trying to run around in a toga and spread love he would be sent to Shoal Creek Hospital’s Psych Ward. But I suppose it was normal then and perhaps my memory doesn’t serve me so well. The part I remember most was that I was coloring a picture of St. Valentine. What a great guy!
According to more modern versions of history, Valentine’s day originated as a pagan celebration, called Lupercalia, which was held every year on February 15 and continued to be observed and celebrated until around the fifth century A.D.
Sometime around the third century A.D., Roman Leader Claudius, who was actively padding the ranks of the military, made it illegal young men to get married. And the story goes that subsequently, Valentine secretly officiated marriages during this time after the ban on marriage, despite the law, making him persona non grata in Rome.
Valentine was executed on “Valentine’s Day”, February 14, A.D. 270 for his open defiance of the law against marriage. And the Catholic church made him a saint for it.
Happy Valentine’s Day!