What is the Real Story of Valentine’s Day?
Every February 14th Valentine’s Day, young couples will travel together to spend this sweet holiday that belongs to couples. Shops on the street will naturally not miss business opportunities, and they have launched various activities on this day to stimulate consumption. This festival, which originated in the West, has now become a festival that affects culture and business all over the world. However, Valentine’s Day started out as a Christian holiday with a heart-wrenching story behind it.
1. Saint Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day, or Saint Valentine’s Day, was originally a holiday created to commemorate a martyr named Valentine. Many of the early Christian martyrs were named Valentine, and on February 14, Valentine in Rome and Valentine in Terni are commemorated. Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred in 269, canonized by Pope Gerrach I in 496, and buried in Via Flaminia. St. Valentine’s relics are kept in Rome’s Church of St. Valentine and the Catacombs, which remained an important pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages until they were transferred to the site during the reign of Nicholas IV St. Prasad Church. St Valentine’s skull is on display at the Cathedral of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome, and other relics were found at Carmel Church on Whitefriars Street in Dublin, Ireland.
Pope Gerash I
Valentine of Terni, bishop of Terni, is said to have been martyred by the persecution of Emperor Aurelian in 273. He was buried on the banks of the Flaminia River, but in a different location than Valentine’s in Rome. His relics are displayed in the Basilica of St. Valentine in Terni. New Minster Abbey in Winchester preserves what is said to be the head of St Valentine of Terni, a relic revered by locals. The Catholic Encyclopedia also mentions a third saint named Valentine, who was mentioned in an early martyrdom on February 14. He and many of his companions died in Africa, but little is known about him.
For different Christian denominations, Saint Valentine’s Day is a day of observance. Both the Anglican and Lutheran calendars have St. Valentine’s Day. However, in the revised Roman Catholic calendar in 1969, St. Valentine’s Day on February 14 was dropped from the general Roman calendar and relegated to a specific calendar. The reason given by the Catholic Church is as follows: Although the remembrance of St. Valentine is ancient, people can only commemorate him according to a specific calendar. Because, apart from his name, nothing is known about St. Valentine except that he was buried in Flaminia on February 14.
It is also celebrated in Malta. There, relics of saints are claimed to have been found, and traditional Catholics around the world celebrate the holiday using an older, pre-Second Vatican Council calendar. In the Orthodox Church, St. Valentine’s Day is identified as July 6, the day on which St. Valentine in Rome is honored by Orthodox Christians. In addition, the Orthodox Church commemorates Valentine of Terni on July 30.
So, what did Valentine do in his lifetime to enjoy such a high status? The Christian Dictionary states that Saint Valentine was a Roman priest imprisoned for helping persecuted Christians. Contemporary records of St. Valentine were likely destroyed by Diocletian’s persecution in the early 4th century. In the fifth and sixth centuries, a work called “The Crucifixion of Mary and Matthew” records a story about the martyrdom of St. Valentine in Rome, but the story there may have borrowed from the tortures of other saints , which was common in literature at the time. The same event is found in Bede’s Martyrdom, compiled in the 8th century. The book says that Saint Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and was personally interrogated by the Roman emperor Claudius II. Valentin was so impressed with Claudius that Claudius had a discussion with him in an attempt to save his life by converting him to Roman paganism. But Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity. Therefore, he was executed. Before his execution, he reportedly performed a miracle to heal Julia, the blind daughter of jailer Astius. The jailer’s daughter and 46 of his family members converted to Jesus and were baptized.
2. Valentine’s Day
So why does such a day commemorating a Christian saint become a romantic Valentine’s Day? According to Henry Ansgar Kelly, The Golden Legend, written in the 13th century, has a well-known episode added in the 18th century. It is said that the night before Valentine’s execution, Valentine himself wrote the first “Valentine” card, addressed to the blind daughter of the jailer Astius, which read “Your Valencia” Ding”, an expression later adopted by modern Valentine’s Letters. British historian John Fox and the Carmelite Friars pointed out that the blind daughter Julia herself planted a pink almond tree next to St Valentine’s tomb. Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of eternal love and friendship. Whether Valentine and Julia fell in love, we don’t know, but it’s these legends that make St. Valentine’s Day romantic.
Another theory is that St. Valentine held secret Christian weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. It is said that the Roman emperor Claudius II prohibited soldiers from marrying in order to strengthen his army because he thought married men were not fit to be good soldiers. According to legend, to remind these men of the oath and the love of God, St. Valentine cut parchment into heart shapes and gave them to the soldiers and persecuted Christians. This may be the reason why the heart shape is so widely used on Valentine’s Day. Saint Valentine is said to have worn an amethyst ring with the image of Cupid engraved on it, a symbol of love that was legal during the Roman Empire. Roman soldiers would recognize the ring and ask him to officiate their wedding. Amethyst became the birthstone of February and was considered a symbol of love, possibly also associated with St. Valentine. However, George Munger writes that this marriage ban was never enacted, and that Claudius II, after his victory over the Goths, told his soldiers to take two or three women away.
The first account of Valentine’s Day and romantic love is Chaucer’s poem “Parliament of the Birds,” which depicts a dreamlike image of a parliament in which birds choose their mates, a poem written by Chaucer in memory of the 15-year-old King of England The first anniversary of the engagement of Richard II to 15-year-old Bohemian Anne. In the poem Chaucer mentions St. Valentine’s Day, writing: “On St. Valentine’s Day, all kinds of birds come to find their mates…”.
English poet Chaucer
The earliest description of February 14th as an annual celebration of love was the Court of Love Charter. The charter, said to have been issued by Charles VI of France in 1400, describes a lavish celebration attended by several members of the royal family, including feasts, love song and poetry contests, jousting and dancing. During these celebrations, the ladies in attendance will hear and adjudicate disputes from lovers.
King Charles VI of France
In 1797, a British publisher released The Young Man’s Lover, which recommended dozens of sentimental lines for young lovers who couldn’t write poetry themselves. Printers have started producing a limited number of cards with poems and sketches called “Valentine’s Day Cards.” Paper Valentine’s Day cards were very popular in England in the early 19th century. Chic Valentine’s Day cards are made with real lace and ribbon, paper lace was introduced in the mid-19th century. In 1835, 60,000 Valentine’s Day cards were sent in England, despite expensive postage. Today, Valentine’s Day has become a worldwide holiday, and young people from all over the world will celebrate love with their couples on this day.
Pakistanis celebrate Valentine’s Day
There are still many theories about the origin of Valentine’s Day. Some people even associate Valentine’s Day with the Faun in ancient Rome, and it has been difficult to verify whether the legends of St. Valentine are true. But it is precisely because of these legends that Christian festivals commemorating saints have been secularized and become worldwide romantic festivals. This can not help but sigh: love, contains the greatest power in the world.
Originally published at https://www.tlw.com.