Valentines Presents / January 8, 2019 / Alta Gentry
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.
This was where young men drew young womens names from a box to commemorate their rite of passage to the god Lupercus. The chooser and chosen would then be paired for one year. These random pairings often led to marriage. The Church of course didnt like the pagan festival so Pope Galasius the bishop of Rome amended this celebration slightly. He filled the box with the names of dead saints instead of girls and allowed both men and women to draw from the box. He believed this would encourage youngsters to copy the ways of the saint for the remainder of the year. On 14th February 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius declared this day to be Saint Valentines Day an official Catholic Holiday. By the early 1700s the United States started celebrating this day of love by swapping love notes and exchanging Valentines gifts for boyfriends girlfriends wives and husbands.
The country was under the power of the hard-hearted Roman Emperor Claudius II who at the time forbade marriage ceremonies and constantly betrothed Rome in bloody battles. He had a crazy idea. He thought if a man wasnt married he wouldnt mind joining the army. But to his horror Claudius discovered that men were reluctant to join the army because of their loyalty to their wives and families. So he sanctioned a callous order that banned engagements and marriages in Rome. But in spite of this Saint Valentine continued to perform marriage rituals. Thrown into jail it was said that Valentine fell in love with his jailors daughter and restored her sight through his Christian faith and devotion for her. Before his execution Valentine sent her a final message signed "From your Valentine" - a phrase that gets a lot of mileage and one which has become an everlasting symbol of camaraderie and warmth.