"In life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette, which provokes the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love." - Marc Chagall, French artist
February 14 is a day that is associated with lovers, chocolate, flowers and cards. But how did it originate?
It seems that Valentine is a namesake for what was a rather popular name for early Christian martyrs. There are at least three of them to which this holiday is possibly attributed to. Coincidentally, all three were said to have been executed on February 14.
For eight hundred years prior to the establishment of Valentine's Day, the Romans had practiced a pagan celebration in mid-February commemorating young men's rite of passage to the god Lupercus.
Instead of the pagan god Lupercus, the Church looked for a suitable patron saint of love to take his place. They found an appropriate choice in St. Valentine (a Catholic bishop) who, in AD 270 had been beheaded by Emperor Claudius for rebelling against what he thought was an "unromantic" ruling.
Claudius had determined that married men made poor soldiers. So he banned marriage from his empire. But Valentine would secretly marry young men that came to him. When Claudius found out about Valentine, he first tried to convert him to paganism. But Valentine reversed the strategy, trying instead to convert Claudius. When he failed, he was stoned and beheaded.
During the days that Valentine was imprisoned, he fell in love with the blind daughter of his jailer. His love for her, and his great faith, managed to miraculously heal her from her blindness before his death. Before he was taken to his death, he signed a farewell message to her, "From your Valentine." The phrase has been used on his day ever since.
Cupid the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty, often appears on Valentine cards. The first true Valentine card was sent in 1415 by Charles, duke of Orleans, to his wife. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London at the time.
So, whatever you do - don't forget your Valentine!
Forget! How could we? It's a community like this that make us love what we do. If you or anyone you know needs our services, don't forget we're always here for you.
"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." - Dr. Seuss
Whatever it is you have planned ... enjoy your Valentines!!