Ah, 14th Feb is meant to be the day of romance, love and exchanging cards. Today, Valentine’s day is meant to celebrate and embrace love – of all sorts. But did you know, in the past, Valentine’s Day was never this commercialized? Roses were never so expensive and people mostly exchanged cards.
But we’re not here to complain about how expensive everything is nowadays. Everyone knows that already. What we really want to talk about is the story behind Valentine’s Day, the day of love and gifts. Do you know the story behind this so called “Day of Romance”? Read on to find out but be warned, it’s really not as sweet as you think it would be.
It was believed that St. Valentine was a Roman priest during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. During his reign, the emperor passed an edict which forbids young men from marrying the girls they love dearly. The emperor thought that if his men do not have to worry about wives or children, they would be able to fight better in wars and gain the empire more victories. And this is where St. Valentine came in.
As a believer of marriage and love, he continued to carry out rituals for young couples who wanted to get married in secret, defying the emperor’s will. Unfortunately, his deeds were discovered and he was caught by agents of the emperor. As punishment for his defiance, he was sentenced to a three-part execution. First, he would be beaten, then stoned before being decapitated. All because he was brave enough to stand by his beliefs and values.
Before St Valentine died, he wrote a note to a young girl whom he had cured from blindness through prayers and healing. He had signed off the letter with “From your Valentine” – and this was how Valentine’s Day came about. Valentine’s Day, instead of just being about love, also serves to remind us of the obstacles St Valentine faced, and how he was willing to lay down his life for what he believed in.
So, the next time you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your significant other, remember St. Valentine and remember his deeds, celebrate the fact that love is alive and remember that, just like him, you must also be able to stand up to others and sacrifice yourself for the one you love. Now, it might not a sweet story, but the lesson it teaches is pretty darn sweet. Don’t you think so?