Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Give yourself a hug and a piece of chocolate from me! Just make sure that it's dark, okay. ;) While you're doing that please enjoy the following message that I got from a friend of mine! ^_^

The Story of St. Valentine

St. Valentine [was a] Roman priest in the year 270. He was arrested and imprisoned for performing marriage ceremonies for Christian couples at a time when such ceremonies were prohibited (as married men were exempt from the Roman army). Valentine also may have aided other Christians who were being persecuted during the reign of Emperor Claudius Gothicus (Claudius II).

Valentine was brought before the emperor and told to renounce his faith, but even under extreme torture he refused to do so. According to legend, couples whom he had married brought him flowers and gifts while he was in prison, which gave rise to the tradition of giving flowers and gifts in his honor.

Valentine tried to convert Emperor Claudius to Christianity, but his efforts were not well received: Claudius had Valentine executed outside Rome's Flaminian Gate on February 14, 270. According to another legend, while still in captivity, Valentine restored the sight of his jailer's blind daughter. On the day before his execution, he sent her a farewell message and signed it, "from your Valentine." That, of course, is said to have established another tradition.

More than two centuries later, in 496, Pope Gelasius marked February 14 as a celebration in honor of Valentine's martyrdom. According to some accounts, this date was chosen to preempt a pagan fertility festival known as Lupercalia, which took place at about that same time. Lupercalia involved a lottery by which young people would draw the name of a mate for a year. With the new holiday, Gelasius instead had participants draw the name of a saint to emulate for a year.

Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is unclear, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a devout and heroic priest who facilitated Christian love. It is no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France. The French nobleman Charles, Duke of Orleans, who was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415, wrote a Valentine note to his wife that is still on display in the British Museum.

- by Ronald J. Rychlak; insidecatholic.com

So, when you give or recieve flowers, chocolate, and cards today, remember St. Valentine and the intense love he had for people!
It's not about whether or not you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, or you're single. It's about loving people.
The End :)

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