The Valentine’s Day, as we celebrate it, is the result of a real amalgamation of stories and traditions spanning centuries. One thing for sure, the name Valentine used to be a tad unlucky.
It all started when Roman Emperor Claudius II put two Valentines to death on February 14th in different years. They encouraged romance and continued to perform marriages after the good emperor banned marriage of military aged men. Because, after all, single men made better soldiers.
One of the unlucky Valentines fell in love with the jailor’s daughter while in prison and sent her love letters, all signed “From Your Valentine”.
After a Valentine was sainted by the Catholic church Pope Gelasius declared February 14th Saint Valentine’s day. It was believed the 14th began the mating season for birds and bees (get it?) which, over time, became the day for lovers.
The “modern day” version of the holiday began to take shape in Chaucer’s poem “Parliament of Foules”. Around 1375 he wrote “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.” “Foul” as in bird.
In addition to praying to Saint Valentine for interventions in romance, however, the church threw in beekeeping, epilepsy, plague, fainting, and traveling. Go figure, but the 5th century was a long time ago.
When Cupid was thrown into the mix is less clear. But because the chubby lil’ guy was the son of Venus, goddess of love and beauty, nobody argued.
The candy and flowers tradition? Thank the candy and flower industries. 🙂
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, from you friends at CORELOT Homes.