A special day is fast approaching. A day when the focus is on that hard to define, but easy to feel, emotion called love. Valentine’s Day is believed to have its roots in an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia, a fertility celebration that occurred yearly on February 15th. During the year 496, Pope Gelasius I renamed the pagan festival Valentine’s Day and moved it to February 14th. Although there were several St. Valentines, most scholars believe Valentine’s Day was intended to honor a priest who attracted the displeasure of the Roman emperor Claudius II around the year 270. Claudius had decided that single men made better soldiers, so he outlawed marriage for all young men. Valentine, who saw the injustice of this decree, defied the order and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. Unfortunately, Claudius II found out and poor priest Valentine was sent to joint his ancestors rather abruptly.
This coming Thursday, February 14th, a billion valentine cards will be sent, along with dozens of roses, and perhaps chocolates, to sweethearts and mothers around the world, and all to celebrate love. From newborn babies to 95 years old seniors, people will share their love for one another and in honor of the saint whose holiday it is. But, what is love, really? We speak of love for our mothers, our sisters and brothers, our husbands and wives, even our pets. From where does it come? Much has been written on the subject since man first learned to record history. Love has been a part of human life for far longer than anger or sorrow. It’s as if it were a quiet river flowing within us, carrying us through good times and bad. A very wise man once wrote, “Love is sufficient unto love.” Perhaps that’s the answer. We came from love and we will return to love, the universal singularity.
So when you celebrate this Valentine’s Day this coming Thursday, no matter how or with whom, remember to give a special nod to St. Valentine, who knew that love was most important thing of all.
<3 Peace @-)-)-----