We all know the contemporary and cultural references for Valentine’s Day. But do we know the origins?
St. Valentine is a 3rd-century Roman saint. He is commemorated on February 14 as that was the date of his execution in 269 A.D.
Different church traditions recognize or do not recognize Valentine. But who was he?
As the story is told in at least one version, Valintinus was arrested and imprisoned for marrying Christian couples in a time in the Roman Empire when helping Christians was considered a crime. Other stories say that he defied the order of the emperor and secretly married couples so that husbands wouldn’t have to go to war.
The celebration of St. Valentine’s Day also has many possible origins. In 14th Century England, Geoffrey Chaucer was among those whose writings associated February 14 with romantic love. During the Middle Ages, it was believed that birds paired in mid-February. This became associated with Valentine’s romance.
Just as St. Nicholas has morphed into the modern day versions of Santa Claus, St. Valentine probably never expected that he would be remembered with chocolates and flowers.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
– Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden
The National Retail Federation projects that American consumers will spend an average of $143.56 on Valentine’s Day. Total spending is expected to reach some $19.6 billion.
Nineteen. Point. Six. Billion.
Let that sink in for a moment.
But how did red roses come to be the flower associated with red roses.
In Victorian England sharing emotions and affections was at best a difficult thing. It just was not considered acceptable to flirt openly and even some forms of conversation were frowned upon. The Victorians used bouquets of flowers to express feelings to their loved ones in a system that became known as “floriography.” There were even special dictionaries to guide one in the understanding of the meaning of certain types of flowers.
During this time, roses became to be seen as a symbol of romantic affection.
Tomorrow, on Valentine’s Day, it’s Rose’s turn.
Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
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This Wednesday, February 14, is Valentine’s Day. Across the nation and around the world people will be declaring their love. Whether romantic love, brotherly love, or a love for all, here are ten of our favorite quotes about love.
Have a favorite quote or story about love? Share in the comments, or give a link back to your blog!