Traditionally millions around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th. Before I go into a brief history about the story of St. Valentine’s Day, I always wondered why so much emphasis is placed on this one day and not echoed throughout the year. After this one day of giving bouquets of flowers, balloons, cards, romantic dinners, chocolates, proposals and a strong declaration of love between two people, what happens during the other 364 days of the year? Where are the lovey-dovey fireworks on ordinary days like May 2nd, August 25th or October 10th?
Love is not a thing, but an emotion. It can be expressed through acts of love in a myriad of ways. However, I don’t personally think that we should contain strong expressions of showing and sharing your love or affection only during a 12-24 hour time frame on February 14th? Do you?
According to www.theholidayspot.com, the story of St. Valentine has two different versions – the Protestant and the Catholic one. Both versions agree upon Saint Valentine being a bishop who held secret marriage ceremonies of soldiers in opposition to Claudius II who had prohibited marriage for young men and was executed by the latter. The most plausible story surrounding St. Valentine is one not centered on Eros (passionate love) but on agape (Christian love): he was martyred for refusing to renounce his religion. Valentine is believed to have been executed on February 14, 270 AD.
Thus, February 14th became a day for all lovers and Valentine became its Patron Saint. It began to be annually observed by young Romans who offered handwritten greetings of affection, known as Valentines, on this day to the women they admired. With the coming of Christianity, the day came to be known as St. Valentine’s Day. But, it was only during the 14th century that St. Valentine’s Day became definitively associated with love.
So as you walk into the stores, saturated with all sorts of great ideas for Valentine’s Day, keep a snapshot of this image in your mind, as it reminds you to practice LOVE every day of the year. And even if you don’t have a significant “other” to share Valentine’s Day with, treat yourself to a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates, a massage, a pedicure or manicure, a makeover, a new hairstyle or some sexy lingerie. Don’t wait for someone else to make you feel good about you. You may be waiting for a very long time!
And if you are really feeling lonely on Valentine’s Day, don’t sulk about it. If you know of a senior citizen who is lonely, buy them a Valentine’s Day card or some flowers and surprise them with it. Or if you want to buy some Valentine’s Day cards, sign it and give it to some of the residents in a nursing home or children’s hospital, you would be sharing an awesome act of love and you will feel so good about it too! That sense of loneliness you were probably feeling will subside, when you see how much you made someone’s day that may be in a worse scenario than you.
Let’s not just accept February 14th as the only day to hype up your expressions of love for someone. Do it every single day of your life. Doing something nice and sweet for someone is something they won’t easily forget, especially when they are lonely! Be creative! Celebrate life! Have a Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
“Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.” ~John Lennon