Showing posts with label Valentines Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Valentines Day. Show all posts
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentines Day History

Valentinus was a Roman Christian priest martyred during the reign of Claudius II (Claudius Gothicus). Valentinus was imprisoned for marrying Christian couples and aiding Christians. Helping Christians at this time was a crime. Claudius liked Valentinus, until he felt pressured to convert. Valentinus wanted Claudius to change his Religion from the Pantheon of Rome to Christianity, so Claudius condemned Valentinus to death. Valentinus was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that failed to kill him, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate in 270 AD.

The name Valentinus was popular in ancient Rome. Valentinus comes from the Latin “valens” meaning “valiant, brave, strong, passionate”. It is unknown why February 14th is Celebrated as Saint Valentine’s Day. Perhaps there was an earlier Pagan Festival on this date, as with most other Holy Days. I imagine for as many cupids that are used now for this day, that it was perhaps more fittingly Aphrodite’s Day or Venus’s Day.

Since Valentine’s Day is about LOVE, I feel that the Goddess Venus approves of this Christian Holiday. I see Saint Valentine as one lesser aspect of the Supreme Goddess of Love. Venus’ love knows no bounds, where as St. Valentine is bound largely to Christian couples in a Capitalist Consumer Society. So every day is Happy Venus Day!!
valentines day history
It is ironic that one of the more popular holidays in America is named for a saint about whom very little is known -- who, in fact, is of questionable historical provenance. In fact, the feast day of St. Valentine is no longer recognized in the current liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. It was removed after the calendar was revised in 1969 by Pope Paul VI.
At that time, many beloved saints lost their places in the calendar because not enough information existed to document their lives and sainthood (e.g., St. Christopher). St. Valentine was a casualty of that revision and lost his standing in the official Catholic canon.

The confusion about St. Valentine begins with reports that there may have been two Valentines who lived and died at the same time -- one was a priest in Rome and the other was a bishop in Terne, 60 miles outside of the imperial capital (but again, that information is inconclusive).
Some scholars believe that there was only one Valentine -- that first he was a priest who then became a bishop. And that theory does make sense, since it was also reported that both Valentines were beheaded. (No box of chocolates for either of them...)

In pagan Rome, Feb. 15 was the feast of the Lupercalia in honor of the pastoral god Lupercus. The Romans performed a ritual meant to ward off wolves, in which men wore strips of animal hide, dancing and cavorting; in mixed company, it evolved into a fertility ritual. Wolves stayed away and love blossomed!

The night before the feast, young people used to declare their love for one another or propose marriage. They also used to pledge their companionship and affection to a prospective spouse for the next 12 months, with a view toward marriage. It is this custom that provides the original meaning of being someone's "Valentine."

And where does love enter Valentine's story? Well, all the stories of saints and martyrs have strong elements that describe their great love for God and, in the case of the martyrs, their willingness to sacrifice their lives for this love and commitment. In the story of St. Valentine, he both lived and died for love.

So, tradition holds that Valentine was a priest in A.D. 269 under the rule of Emperor Claudius II, who is reputed to have banned marriage because he believed that single men made better soldiers. But love finds a way, and those who wanted to marry found an ally in the priest Valentine, who agreed to perform the sacrament in secret. When Claudius discovered this treason, he imprisoned Valentine.
One legend says that young children passed him notes through the prison bars, which could have been the beginning of the custom of sending love notes on Valentine's Day.

As noted earlier, the priest was eventually beheaded and then named a martyr by the Church because he gave up his life to perform the sacrament of marriage: for love of love and love of God.

Medieval authors told stories about St. Valentine as a matchmaker for devout Christian couples. According to one tale, the custom of sharing cards on Valentine's Day echoes a letter that Valentine wrote to his jailer's daughter, whom he had miraculously cured of blindness, shortly before his execution by Roman authorities. It is said that he signed the note, "Your Valentine."

The great English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, who lived in the 14th century and is famous for his "Canterbury Tales," is credited with calling Feb. 14 "Valentine's Day," the day of love, in his poem "The Parliament of Fowls":
He named the day a symbol of spring love, with birds billing and cooing.
Shakespeare also refers to Valentine's Day in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and in "Hamlet":

Here Shakespeare is referring to an English and Italian custom in which single women sat at their windows on Valentine's Day, believing that the first man they saw would be their true love.

The historical Valentine, if he in fact existed, presumably died not knowing that his name would be associated with this happy and intense emotion for millennia to come.

But he knew -- and we know -- that love is worth celebrating; it is probably the best thing to celebrate. The greeting card, flower and candy industries love, love, love St. Valentine (their patron saint for all intents and purposes), for he provides substantial cash flow in the first quarter of the year, the first major spending holiday after the season of Christmas and before, God help us, Presidents' Day.

So, teddies (of both the cuddly bear and silken lingerie varieties) aside, it is comforting to know that there is more than a commercial basis for the rampant expressions of love on this day and that, as always -- and as if there was any doubt -- Charlie Brown was right.

Happy Valentine's Day, my dearest.

Remember Jesus on Valentines Day Prayer

Pray this Prayer along with you partner and be blessed.
Dear loving Father, thank you for Saint Valentines Day when we celebrate and share love. Thank you for that love goes deeper than romance and that, through Christ, all love grows deeper and stronger daily. I thank you today for the following people who have loved me unconditionally no matter what happens in my life (specify each one of them here and thank God).

Thank you for the special love of family members. Thank you for the elders in my family who have taught me how to love through thick and thin, even when the word “love” wasn’t specifically spoken out loud. Here is one special act of love they taught me that I want to pass on to others (specify the most memorable special act of love you remember in your life).

Thank you for the pure, open-hearted love of young children. Thank you for scribbled drawings, sticky hugs and wet kisses on the cheek. Here are the ways I would like to be more like a child in sharing love with others (specify how you plan to show innocent love to others around you).

I often need help in expressing love. I want to find the right words to say and also the right deeds, prayers, support and encouragement to share. May your Holy Spirit guide me to be part of your perfect timing in showing others I care at the very moment of their greatest need. Please bring to my mind one such divine deed as I listen for your guidance (remain calm praising God as you listen for His voice).

Teach me to love myself. Help me to do healthy, nurturing things for my physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Here is one issue I need your help with so I can better love and care for myself (specify your issue).

Sometimes I have a hard time loving everyone. Give me strength and grace to love the following people (specify the people whom you hate or dislike).

Thank you for hearing my prayer and empowering me today and forever with the great love of Jesus, who died for me and for all of his other beloved children here on earth. Jesus, I love you.

Valentines Day Prayers for you

Valentines Day Prayers 
Valentines Day Prayer 1
Praise to the One whose love stirs the ancient embers
Sparks the breath of prayer
Praise to the One whose love entices the wandering
Beckons the confused
Praise to the One whose love grows wings on the weary
Dreams hope in the discouraged
Praise to the One whose love soothes with the ointment of mercy
Transforms with the touch of compassion
Praise to the One whose love threads the energy of friendship
Stitches the strength of fidelity
Praise to the One whose love tickles the soul with laughter
Urges the heart toward joy
Praise to the one whose love embraces the untamed
Dances with the passionate
All praise to this Gracious One
All gratitude to this Beloved
All love to this Mentor of Friendship
All devotion to this Shaper of Hearts.

Valentines Day Prayer 2
I said a Valentine prayer for you
And asked the Lord above
To fill your heart and bless your soul
With the precious gift of love.
I asked Him for sincere love
The kind that’s meant to stay
Just like the generous love
You give to those you touch each day.
I prayed for love from family
And from every cherished friend
Then I asked the Lord to give you
His love that knows no end.

Valentines Day Prayer 3
God of power and might,
Thank you for the gift of Love
This Valentine’s Day,
And for all the people
Whose love shines in my life.
Continue to fill
My heart with Your love
And let me share that love
With the world
This Valentine’s Day and always.

Valentines Day Prayer 4
Dearest Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for the precious gift of love you have given to the world and to me. Thank you for blessing me every day with this love and the power and strength that I get from you every single day. Without your love for me I can’t be….I can’t function….I can’t even breathe…because I NEED your love to sustain me. It’s like food and medicine for my soul Lord.
Please continue to let me feel your comforting love in my life and Lord I give myself over to you to perfect in me this gift of love…that I may be able to express it and share it with others. Lord…I have not always been good at this…forgive me. Lord…some people are harder to love than others…but I want to be like your Son Jesus…so please continue the work you are doing in my heart so my heart will be like yours. In Jesus name I pray. Father, I love you so much!

Valentines Day Prayer 5
Pray, then, O holy Martyr, for the Faithful, who are so persevering in celebrating thy memory. The day of Judgment will reveal to us all thy glorious merits. Oh! intercede for us, that we may then be made thy companions at the right hand of the Great Judge, and be united with thee eternally in heaven.
Antiphon: This Saint fought, even unto death, for the law of his God, and feared not the words of the wicked; for he was set upon a firm rock.
Let us pray: Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we who solemnize the festival of blessed Valentine, Thy Martyr, may, by his intercession, be delivered from all the evils that threaten us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.