Not Just Another Day
Valentine’s Day is a holiday dedicated to Love, Candy, and Greeting Cards. There is nothing else like it. Christmas may dominate when it comes to the cards and Halloween has a lock on the candy thing, but no other day – not even Opening Day of Baseball Season – can do Love like Valentine’s Day.
According to the hagiography of the Saints (Not the New Orleans Saints) the legend of the real St, Valentine goes back to the third century AD and the streets of Rome.
St. Valentine, just plain Valentine at that time, was a Christian priest who crossed crosiers with the Roman Emperor Claudius (not Derek Jacoby). The Emperor had put forth an edict outlawing marriage for young people. His reason for this bit of wacky logic was that he thought unmarried soldiers would not be thinking about their families back home when things got ugly on the battlefield. It doesn’t make sense to me, but the Emperor was the Emperor and one did not disobey the Emperor. But one person did – Valentine.
In defiance of Claudius and his edict Valentine opened up his very own Vegas style Wedding Chapel offering quick and easy marriages. There is no truth to the apocryphal rumor that Valentine would dress up as a popular entertainer – Elvisius of Memphis.
When Claudius got wind of Valentine’s Wedding Chapel he had the good priest arrested.
Being arrested in Rome was serious business – none of this 30 Gold Sestursius or 30 days picking up the trash on the Appian Way sentencing.
In 269 AD Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution; Beating, then Stoning, and topped off by Decapitation. I think Claudius had some anger issues.
On February 14, 269 AD Valentine lost the trifecta and was executed. His remains are allegedly housed in six different churches throughout Europe.
Our yearly celebration of Love is in memory of St. Valentine’s wonderful actions for the cause of Love. Of course he is also considered the Patron Saint of beekeepers and those with epilepsy. I have no idea why.
All that I know for sure is that while all of the Valentine’s Day rigmarole is a bit extreme its heart is in the right place. February 14th is great, but I try to tell my wife, the lovely and eternally loveable, Dawn, that I love her every day. I hope I succeed. I don’t send her cards very often and she doesn’t like chocolate. All I can do is concentrate of loving her.
Maybe someday, if I work it right, and skipping the execution part, people will celebrate St. Krafty’s Day. I think it should be dedicated to loving your wife – and coffee.