Growing up I celebrated Saint Valentine’s Day. Somewhere along the way it just became Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure why, maybe it was a concerted effort to eliminate all that is good and holy from our world or to brainwash us into buying Hallmark® cards. More than likely it’s just a harmless derivative of what once was a Catholic feast day honoring a saint whose very existence is in dispute. Generally it is believed that Valentinus was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius II for aiding and marrying Christian couples (hence the romantic connection). But several Valentines are mentioned in early Christian history and many legends surround the name.
Whether Valentine was a legend or a saint doesn’t have much bearing on how we celebrate February 14th. Today Valentine’s Day is a day for lovers. Whether it’s a new romance or a time-tested marriage; whether it’s the celebration of love between parents and their children or best friends; it’s a good day to say “I love you”. And how can that be a bad thing?
For me, my wife Deb is my Valentine. She’s the one that stands by me through thick and thin. She is my leaning post, my rock, my partner, my inspiration and my joy. She is the one that gives meaning to my life – she is my lifetime Valentine. If some red roses and a romantic meal together will show her how much her love means to me – it’s a small price to pay.
We’ll have heart-shaped donuts on this Valentine’s Day with the grandkids and we’ll exchange Valentines with our grown children. It will be a day to extend wishes of love to friends and family, too. There will likely be flowers and small gifts and tokens of love exchanged.
We love one another everyday but I believe that Valentine’s Day is a good day to love a little more. Hug those that are close to you just a little bit tighter. Kiss your wife (or husband) with a little more passion. Send a note to someone that you’ve neglected. Call a friend just to say hello. Help carry a load. Mend a quarrel. Make peace. Love.
Some folks might bemoan the fact that the ‘Saint’ has been taken out of Valentine’s Day but I think that Valentine cards and heart-shaped boxes of candy are as harmless as bunnies on Easter. And maybe, just maybe, it’s better to honor those saints living among us than some saint from antiquity.
Peace (and Love)