As it says in my Twitter bio, I’m a research junkie. When something catches my attention, I can’t help but try to learn a little (or a lot) more about it. Since today is Valentine’s Day, I started wondering about the origins of the holiday. While there seem to be several possibilities for which Saint Valentine the holiday is named after, why the holiday is celebrated on February 14, and how the holiday got its start, there is no doubt that the day is set aside to celebrate love.
With that in mind, and with my brief research into Valentine’s Day, I have to share a quote from an article I found on History.com.
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the
third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men
made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed
marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the
decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young
lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius
ordered that he be put to death.
There is something undeniably romantic about the necessity of a clandestine wedding performed by a priest who is defying the law to join young lovers in marriage. This single historical tibit immediately took my mind to Romeo and Juliet — young lovers who had to meet in secret and defy their families for the sake of love. Their romance had a much more tragic (and fictional) ending than the lovers Valentine married, but the feeling that love cannot be controlled or ignored is evident in both stories.
This Valentine’s Day, show your sweetheart how much you love him or her. What better day for romance than this? If you’re single, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the day as well. Between the chocolate and the romance novels no one will fault you for reading today, that warm fuzzy feeling of love is just around the corner.
Happy Valentine’s Day!