Monday, February 3, 2014

Who Was Saint Valentine? Does He Know How His Holiday Makes Us Feel?

Who Was Saint Valentine? Does He Know How His Holiday Makes Us Feel?

Julia @ Kids Matter

Date: Valentines Day, February 14th 1993.

Heroine: Me. Action: The 4th delivery of red/pink roses to yet another skinny, beautiful, and popular female.

Place: High school classroom of heartless athletics coach who was given the required task of teaching world history; a job he should NOT have been given, and was not qualified to perform.

          To a chubby unpopular girl, it is one of the most undesirable days of the year. It’s a constant reminder that you have no boyfriend, still haven’t lost any weight on your diet, and are still too scared to wear contacts. Now, I did get flowers every year from my mother, who knew my pain and tried to comfort me through it.

          But why do we feel this way? Why is it that we need Valentine’s Day to make us feel pretty, loved, and desired? Who was this hack Valentine anyway? Does he know that single people everywhere are made to feel like MAJOR losers every February 14th?

           There are several differing stories of the martyred man, Valentinus. One is that the Roman Emperor Claudius II decided that single men make better soldiers that those with wives. Like most bone headed moves made by an early aged emperor, he banned marriage. Valentinus found this as idiotic as I do and began secretly performing marriages. This did not bode well and he was put to death.

          Another popular theory has our hero being jailed for helping Christians escape Roman prisons, where they were beaten and tortured daily. It is said that Valentine fell for a woman, believed to be the jailor’s daughter, and sent her a note before his death signed, ‘From Your Valentine’.

          My uneducated opinion is that the man, who secretly married people behind the back of an emperor, is romantic and worthy of a day celebrated in honor of love. I do believe he was imprisoned for defying Claudius. However, and I also believe he fell for a woman while there and gave her the very first ‘valentine card’.

          I think back, and laugh, to when I was 17 and having flowers sent to me in history class being a matter of life and death. I now know what Valentine meant for us all to learn. Love is love and it is everywhere you look.

          The love of my single mother struggling to make ends meet, somehow finding the money to send me very expensive flowers… that is love. I think that is what St. Valentine would like to see in honor of his name.

          Happy Valentine’s Day to you and to all those we love. Let’s go back to our childhoods and pass out valentines to one another. Mail a Valentine to your mother and buy some small old school Star Wars themed ones for your coworkers. Place a small heart shaped piece of chocolate on their desk along with it. You will feel quite warm for passing on a little love.

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