Why do we Celebrate Valentine?
How did it start?Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II, or Claudius the Cruel,
as he was also called, Rome was involved in many bloody and
unpopular campaigns. The Emperor was having a difficult
time getting soldiers to join his wars and believed
that the roman men did not want to leave their loves or families.
As a result, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome.
The good Saint Valentine and Saint Marius were priests in Rome during his reign.
They aided the Christian martyrs and secretly married couples.
Saint Valentine was apprehended and dragged before
the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and
to have his head cut off. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, 270.
Now, what would a martyred saint have to do with a day that celebrates Romance and Love?
At that time it was the custom in Rome for 800 years
to celebrate the Lupercalia on February 15. This feast honored the
Roman gods Lupercus and Faunus. In addition to being a bountiful feast,
this was also a fertility festival, a time to meet and court a prospective mate.
On these occasions, amidst a variety of pagan
ceremonies, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they
were drawn by the men as chance directed and they would be coupled
for the duration of the festival.
Of course, the pastors of the early Christian Church in Rome
endeavored to do away with the pagan element in these feasts by substituting
the names of saints for those of maidens. And as the Lupercalia began about
the middle of February, the pastors appear to have chosen Saint Valentine's
Day for the celebration of this new feast.
Several stories and legends grew about Saint Valentine.
Saint Valentine is said to have sent messages to friends from prison saying,
"Remember your Valentine." and "I love you."
Another story has him falling in love with the jailer's daughter and curing her of
her blindness through faith and prayer. On the date of his execution, he is said
to have sent her a note signed, "Your Valentine."
Here's another legend-
The Legend of the Valentine
The legend says ST. VALENTINE
Was in a prison cell
Thinking of his little flock
He had always loved so well
And, wanting to assure them
Of his friendship and his love,
He picked a bunch of violets
And sent them by a dove..
And on the violet's velvet leaves
He pierced these lines divine
That simply said, "I LOVE YOU"
And I'M YOUR VALENTINE'...
So through the years that followed,
From that day unto this,
Folks still send messages of love
And seal them with a kiss...
Because a SAINT in prison
Reached through prison bars one day
And picked a bunch of violets
And sent them out to say
That FAITH and LOVE can triumph,
No matter where you are,
For FAITH and LOVE are GREATER
Than the strongest prison bar.
According to church tradition, when Valentine was on trial
he was asked if he believed in the Roman gods Jupiter and Mercury.
Of course Valentine said they were false gods and that he believed in the one true God,
the God that Jesus Christ called Father. For this he was thrown in prison but while
there, he continued to witness about the Lord. One of the guards had an adopted daughter
who was blind and the guard asked if Valentine's God could help. Valentine prayed
and the daughter regained her sight. The guard and his family, all 46 of them,
were converted and were baptized as Christians.
Valentine made more converts while in prison and this infuriated
the emperor. St. Valentine was beheaded.
The kind of love we celebrate on Valentine's Day is the kind that is willing to give up
even life itself so others may know the love of God.
"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life
for one's friends." (John 15:13)
Thank you Lord for all we love and all those who love us. We can only love because you first loved us!
Thank you for stalwart courageous men like St. Valentine who showed the amazing power of love!
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Valentine's Day Websites
Rocketdownload.com - FREE Valentine's Day screen savers and clip art
Valentine's Day at Wilstar.net
Free Graphics for Valentines Day
Welcome to Amore on the net, at holidays.net
Happy Valentine's Day !
Rexanne's Valentines Day
Valentines' Fun at Kids' Exchange
Kids Domain Valentines
Happy Valentine's Day From Charlene's Homepage
Annie's Valentines Page -- A Different Kind of Love
Valentine Love Letters from Peggie's Place!
Caryn.Com Valentine's Day Special
Shopping Online For Valentine's Day
Happy Valentine's Day at Clemson University
Valentine Graphics by Courtemanche Custom Designs
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