Valentines Presents / January 10, 2019 / Gladys Hayden
Legend One As one of the legends goes in the 3rd century there lived a priest named Valentine. The Roman Emperor Claudius II was ruling at this time and Valentine like many of the public under Claudius rule disliked him with a passion. Claudius wanted all men to join the army. But because men had wives and families of their own these men werent so keen on signing up. Believing a singleton soldier was a better soldier than a married young man Claudius introduced a callous new law which banned marriage ceremonies. In Claudius opinion this would mean more strong young men would join the army with no wives at his disposal. Valentine the priest thought this new law was outrageous so what did he do? He married couples in secret.
Sound nice? No. Not nice. Just truly truly terrible. Unless youve been buried underground youve probably been inundated with Valentines present ideas via spam emails and TV adverts constantly advising you not to forget your sweetheart; imploring for romantic getaways... weekend theatre tickets... restaurant deals...... Valentines day presents for men... Valentines presents for her... the list goes on. Whether Valentines Day is a delight or fills you with fright when and why did this event turn into such a big deal? Does anyone actually remember the origin of February 14th and what its original meaning was? And what on earth happened to the good old days of cards sealed with red wax left secretly at a lovers doorstep... cutting out paper hearts... gobbling down a couple of powdery sweets embossed with Be Mine and being done with it? As we know it Valentines Day is a time of year when theoretically the lovely lady or gent in your life flatters you with Valentines presents usually in the form of chocolates...sweets... roses... clothes... hats or stuffed animals.
But the main reason behind buying valentines gifts for men and women was in fact a kindly cleric named Valentine who died over a thousand years ago... As history would have it Valentines Day derived from the Roman pagan fertility celebration known as Lupercalia which was held on February 15th. During this ritual a young man would draw the name of a young woman in a lottery and would then keep the woman as a sexual companion for the year to promote fertility and deflect disasters. Then in 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius wanted to add a Christian slant to the pagan celebration a day earlier. He made the conscious decision to pay tribute to a young soldier who lived in Rome who was put to death for his Christian beliefs on February 14th 269 A.D. This young soldier then became dubbed Saint Valentine.