Actually, we’re celebrating the anniversary of a beating, stoning and beheading. Also, February 14th is the anniversary of the death of my favorite author, P. G. Wodehouse. Come to think of it, this whole thing could be downright depressing. Let’s try and return to the hearts and flowers side of this story.
I’ve heard various legends concerning Saint Valentine. I just don’t know how many of them are true.
What most believe is that around the year 278 A.D., the Roman emperor, Claudius, banned marriages, believing that strong family ties were at fault for making young men less inclined to enter the military ranks. Valentine, a priest, violated this order and performed marriages anyway.
Valentine was arrested, tortured and beaten to death with clubs before being beheaded on February 14th.
One story tells that he’d written a farewell note to the jailer’s daughter who had become a friend, having signed it, “Your Valentine”.
But, how did the familiar heart shape come into being? I’m not sure anyone knows for sure, because it certainly doesn’t bear much resemblance to that internal organ of ours that goes all-of-a-twitter when we’re feeling the first blush of love.
One story tells us that Valentine was taken away suddenly to prison, leaving him no time to notify his family of his whereabouts. Knowing they must be in a terrible state of fear and worry, he began to reach out and pluck at a vine which grew up the stone wall outside his small prison window. Each day, Valentine plucked leaves from the vine and began to pierce them with small holes that spelled out the words, “Your Valentine”. These leaves just happened to be that familiar shape that we often associate with philodendron and many other plants and now refer to as heart-shaped.
As he dropped these organic messages out the window, they fluttered to the ground below and eventually made their way to those who had been waiting for some word from their dear Valentine.
I love that story. I’d love to believe it’s true – and it might be – even if it does sound like someone like me made it up.
Just knowing that Valentine was a real person who stood up for what he believed is enough to make us want to remember him. Realizing what his suffering and death had to have done to his family and friends is enough to make us want to remember those we value with some token of love on his special day.
It’s not too late! It’s a great day to make someone feel good so stop reading this hop to it!
Me? I’m going to go hang out with Smuffy. I adore Smuffy! If you want the inside scoop on our Smokin’ Hot Honeymoon, check it out here!
Phoebe June would like to leave you with a smile –
Awww! That ought to make your little heart go pitter patter! Get better acquainted with Phoebe June here.