Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine is a celebration observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world.
St. Valentine’s Day began as a religious celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14. A popular account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were being persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to the legend, during his time in prison, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment later added to this story states that before Saint Valentine’s execution he wrote her a letter and signed it “Your Valentine” as a farewell.
Saint Valentine’s Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Community as well as in the Lutheran Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates Saint Valentine’s Day, however it is celebrated on July 6 and July 30 in order to pay homage to the Roman leader Saint Valentine, and the latter date in honor of Heiromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni). A heiromartyr is defined in Wikipedia as a bishop or priest that has died for his beliefs.
How did Valentine’s Day then become associated with hearts, flowers and love? The day was first associated with romantic love by Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages when courtly love began to flourish. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering candies and sending greeting cards or “Valentines”.
In Europe, Saint Valentine’s Keys are given to lovers as a romantic symbol and acts as an invitation to “unlock the heart” of the one that gave it to you. They are also given to children and are said to ward of epilepsy (also called Saint Valentine’s Malady). Valentine’s Day symbols commonly used today the heart outline, doves, and a winged Cupid. Handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards dating back to the 19th century.
So whether you are giving a hand written note or a greeting card, don’t forget the flowers! Valentine’s Day falls on Sunday this year, so how about bringing your Valentine to the Cape for a weekend getaway…Don’t forget to call Nick at Thomas D. Brown Real Estate to go look at some homes that could become your very own Summer Cape Cod getaway! Now that would make a great Valentine!