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Why do we celebrate Valentine's Day
Sunday, 10 February 2013 21:35

St. Valentine, Cupid and Roses


February 14th, the holiday of Love! Every February, across the country, chocolates, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. Who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday?

Who Was St. Valentine?

As with so many of these traditions revolving around martyred saints, there is some degree of murkiness surrounding St. Valentine. There are generally held to be three different saints of that name, martyred in the early centuries of Christianity. There was a St. Valentine of Terni (killed around AD 197), St. Valentine of Rome (killed around AD 269), and a third St. Valentine who is mentioned as being martyred in Africa along with companions. This is the date given as February 14th.

By the 14th Century, no one really paid any attention to the differences between the saints named Valentine, and romantic stories grew up around the idea of a saint. In one story, Valentine performs secret marriages in defiance of the emperor of Rome, who wanted unmarried men for his armies. In another, Valentine is jailed, falling in love with the jailer’s daughter. He sends her handwritten notes, signed, “your Valentine.”


Indeed, while Christians celebrated Saint Valentine’s Day as a religious feast beginning in 498 AD, thanks to Pope Gelasius, but the idea of romance being associated with the saint’s day was not really popularized, some thing, until the 14th Century, when Geoffrey Chaucer‘s works of courtly love were all the rage. (And it helped that some in England and France many believed that the middle of February marked the beginning of mating season for birds.) But there are some, of course, who point out that the feat of Saint Valentine occurred remarkably close to a pagan holiday.

And Who is this Cupid?

Another valentine icon you may be wondering about is Cupid (from Latin cupido, "desire"). In Roman mythology Cupid is the son of Venus, goddess of love. His counterpart in Greek mythology is Eros, god of love. Cupid is often said to be a mischievous boy who goes around wounding both gods and humans with his arrows, causing them to fall in love. The Romans believed white roses grew where the tears of Venus fell, as she mourned the loss of her beloved Adonis. Her son Cupid, while being stung by a bee, shot arrows in the rose garden; the sting of the arrows became thorns. Venus pricked her foot on a thorn, and the droplets of blood dyed the roses red.

Sending Roses on Valentine's Day

Why should you send roses to your loved one this Valentine's Holiday? The rose is the symbol of love, of magic, of hope, and of passion....perfect to let your loved one know how you feel about him/her! The rose represents ultimate beauty and perfection. It is the messenger of Romance!

A dozen red roses remains the classic Valentine's Day favorite (ok, it's a toss up between roses and chocolate - but we all knwo why chocolate is). However, many women report that they adore roses in other colors just as much. There are hundreds of colors to choose from. The choices are endless and it's easier than ever to select a rose that is as unique as your sweetheart.

Whatever your Valentine's gift to give or receive, have fun this holiday of love - may this little bit of history add to your enjoyment


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