Writing Wins and Woes: Valentine’s Day

I know Valentine’s Day is over and some people don’t like the day at all. I’ve heard it called  a Hallmark holiday. But I think it’s a day to remember people we love and care about. I intended to do this blog last Friday but I missed my blog post that day and I really wanted to do a post on Valentine’s Day.

There are many stories on how Valentine’s Day began. One story says that Valentine was a priest during third century Rome. Emperor Claudius II  made marriage illegal among his soldiers because he believed them to serve better without encumbrances. Valentine continued to perform marriages for them in secret. He was discovered by Claudius and ordered to be killed.

Another story says that Valentine helped Christians escape Roman  prisons where they were being starved and tortured. For that he was imprisoned himself. While in prison, he fell in love with the jailor’s daughter.  There is even a legend that he prayed with her and healed her of some sickness. In jail he sent a valentine to her. He signed it “From your Valentine.” The ending of this story isn’t pretty. Valentine was put to death in a three part execution of beating, stoning and decapitation.

Neither of these stories end as romantically as you would want unless your idea of romance is Romeo and Juliet. However, they are infinitely better than this one.  There was a Valentine’s celebration in Rome but it certainly wasn’t corny and romantic with flowers and a box of candy. It was called Lupercalia and it was a pagan celebration where men sacrificed goats and dogs then whipped women with their hides to make them fertile. It was so sweet.

I prefer to think of Valentine’s day as a day to honor those we love and care about. Maybe it is a Hallmark holiday. Maybe it was rooted in a pagan ceremony. Maybe it began with a martyr who sacrificed all for love. Whatever the case, I believe Valentine’s Day is a lovely way to say “I love you.” Those three words can make a world of difference to someone in your life. So say it and show it and maybe even write it in a valentine.



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