Valentine’s Day Is For Lovers…Or Is It?
Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly known as Valentine’s Day, is an annual celebration held on February 14, celebrating love and affection between cherished lovers. The day is named after an early Christian leader and martyr named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Galasius I in 496 AD. Now, it is traditionally a day on which devoted partners express their love for each other. However, in stark contrast, the original St. Valentine is remembered for having been executed for his Christian beliefs and his refusal to convert to Roman Paganism.
Valentine’s Day first became associated with romance during the days of the great poet, Geoffrey Chaucer in the late 1300’s. In 1382, Chaucer wrote in his poem Parlement of Foules or Parliament of Birds, “For this was Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” That poem actually had more to do with Mother Nature and the mating habits of birds than with human love. Despite that, it managed to find its way into western culture and to this day it provides an opportunity for women and men to express profound love for their mates.
Many human beings in this century need a special day to declare their love for each other.
Valentine’s Day functions as a reminder to everyone that explicit expressions of romantic love are important for the maintenance of healthy relationships. It doesn’t stop at pure, innocent love though. Candy stores, jewellery merchants, flower shops, restaurants and “Hallmark” cards all rake in huge amounts of much needed revenue on that special day. In fact many of them rely on Valentine’s Day sales for financial survival.
Lovers in the twenty first century cannot simply satisfy each other with kind words, cuddles, kisses and lovemaking as they might have in the 1300’s. Instead they feel a need to spend some money in order to prove their love and devotion to each other. It seems that our modern world has replaced natural, wholesome relationships where love is based on simple caring and sharing with relationships where love is measured by the amount of currency expended on it. That may sound somewhat cynical, but if given the choice between a kiss on the lips, a box of chocolates, or an exotic vacation as a Valentine’s gift, which would the average North American prefer? Which would they be more impressed by and which would they be more likely to remember in years to come? I think the answer is obvious.
It would be nice to think that when lovers sacrifice their cash for their mates, they are emulating St. Valentine who sacrificed his life for his religion.
Sadly that is probably not the case. We live in a world where the value of money has taken on such epic importance that it has become synonymous with, and inseparable from expressions of generosity, charity, kindness, and yes…love itself.
This Valentine’s Day why not break out of the mold?
Now that we know that St. Valentine’s died not for his lover, but for his religion, let’s do something more meaningful than buying candy, jewellery or trips.
Why not spend the night at home just cuddling and kissing and give the money you save to a worthy charity? That way we can show our love for mankind, and uphold some of the principles that St. Valentine died for. After all, there are a lot of people in the world who need help and there are worse things than cuddling and kissing the one you love.
Valentine’s Day really is for lovers!
All the Best