Candy, chocolate, candles, romantic dinner and loving cards. We know of cupid and his love arrows… but did you know that we owe it all to a martyr?
People celebrate Valentine’s Day with the ones they love and offer each other presents, some are eatable in many ways or more physical, again, in a few imaginative way.
Valentine’s Day is for the lovers not to forget about the love they share. It gives them an opportunity to remind themselves of why they are together. Some believe it is a fabricated day by stores to get people to spend money. Well, it has another beginning…
Behind Valentine’s Day
For a holiday that celebrates love and passion, its creation comes from a darker nature. Valentine’s Day got its name after the roman saint and martyr St. Valentine.
St. Valentine, a Christian in an age where paganism still took place, had him arrested by the ordering judge Asterius who asked him to give sight and hearing back to a young lady to prove Jesus Christ’s love worked through him.
The story says that Valentine gave the young lady her sight and hearing back and complied to his demand to Christianize his family, servants and release all Christians persecuted for their beliefs.
Afterward, due to Valentine’s continuous evangelization got arrested and met Emperor Claudius II who kept Valentine with him as he found him quite entertaining until the man tried to convert him to Christianism. Then all changed for Valentine who had to choose between paganism or torture. The man refused conversion and entered the dungeon of Claudius.
The young lady, now cured, happened to be the daughter of the dungeon master who knew Valentine had feelings for and signed letters with, “Your Valentine.” However, this is only speculation, and no proof can support the claim for his love for the young lady.
A Not So Loving Death
When Claudius II refused to convert to Christianism, he ordered Valentine to choose between his faith and his life. Valentine preferred the dungeon, and so it happened. Valentine suffered from a brutal beating with clubs which broke limbs and bones.
Another story says that not only Valentine endured a savage beating by clubs, but also went through stoned torture but didn’t die. To ensure his death, the emperor ordered Valentine’s beheading.
To this day, the remains of the martyr St. Valentine resides in Dublin, Ireland where his heart is in a golden shrine along with his blood. Spain also claims to have some of the remains from the body of St. Valentine.
Because the story took place in 270 A.D., it is quite hard to know what happened to St. Valentine and why his arrest took place. Historians agree that Christians suffered persecution in those times, therefore encouraging the arrest of whoever would perform weddings stopping the army of the emperor to grow as married men would not go to war in those times.
To encourage Christianism, Valentine would cut hearts from parchment paper and give them to the newlyweds as a present, and this would be the beginning of a tradition of exchanging hearts on the loving holiday.
Another legend says that Valentine refused to sacrifice to pagan gods and for that reason, he suffered imprisonment and it was through his prayers that the jailer’s daughter recovered her sight.
The Memory Remains
Many St. Valentine existed, many historical figures suffered horrible deaths for their belief in true love and marrying couples in a time of war and terror. Maybe this St. Valentine above is the fruit of many coming together into one to show that love conquers hate every single time.
Valentine died in the name of love. To this day his name remains on our calendars and is a synonym of love just as he became its sole Patron.
Before love came hate and disbelief, sorrow and pain, but Valentine’s strength and heart protected many and saved many. Let’s make this Valentine’s Day special in his name and let us say “I love you” to all those we love and carry in our heart.
Happy Valentine’s Day.