Valentines Presents / January 9, 2019 / Alta Gentry
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.
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.