As the month of February begins, shops are stocked with fascinating things in the shape of heart such as heart shaped boxes, pair of Teddy holding heart with a love message, gifts symbolising love, greeting cards, pink flowers and bunches of red rose retelling us that it’s that perfect time of the year to express your love for that special person in your life, be it friend, relative, sweetheart or adored pet. Most of us still wonder, why February 14th is celebrated as Valentine’s Day!
Sources dating back to the historical period linked to Valentine’s Day takes us to ancient times around 3rd century. Valentine’s Day is associated with love and romance but its origin includes saint and massacre. Here are certain stories related to the origin of Valentine’s Day.
The origin of Valentine’s Day and the story behind this day as celebration of love is masked in mystery. The Catholic Church identifies two dissimilar saints called Valentine or Valentinus, who were sacrificed
Why do we celebrate Valentin’s day Story 1
Story 1. One such story dates back to third century ruled by a cruel Roman emperor Claudius II and very humble Christian named Valentinus.
The emperor Claudius ordered all the Romans to worship 12 gods, and it was a crime if anyone was found associated with Christianity. Anyone found worshiping Christ was sentenced to death as per the emperor’s order. But Valentinus was devoted to the Christ’s ideals, even the risk of death could not stop him from following his beliefs and practices. Emperor came to know about him, he was arrested and confined.
It is said that during the last few days of his life a significant thing occurred. It is well known that Valentinus was a knowledgeable man, so the jailer asked him if his daughter named Julia, could get some lessons from him. She was a blind since her birth. Jailer’s daughter Julia was a very beautiful young girl and quick learner. Valentinus used to read her the stories of roman history. He described her the world and the nature to her very beautifully. He educated her about arithmetic and also about god. Julia saw the world through Valentinus eyes, believed his wisdom and was comfortable in his silent strength.
One day Julia asked, “Valentinus, does god really listen to our prayer?”
He said, “Yes. My child”.
She said,” Do you know what I pray every day and night? I wish that someday I might see through my eyes. I want to look at the world you’ve told me so much about!”
Valentinus said, “God does what is the best for us only if we believe in him”
“Oh, Valentinus, I believe in god! I do!” she Kneel down and gripped his hand.
Both of them sat quietly together and prayed.
All of a sudden there was a bright light in the prison cell, Beaming, Julia cried.
“I can see! I can see, Valentinus”
“Valentinus exclaimed, “Praise be to the Lord!” and he knelt in prayers.
Before his death it is believed that Valentinus wrote a letter to Julia advising her to stay close to god. He signed his letter as, “From your Valentine.” On the very next day February 14, 270 A.D. he was sentenced to death near a gate which later was named as Porta Valentini in his remembrance. The place were Valentinus was buried in Rome is now the Church of Praxedes. People say that Julia had planted a pink-blossomed almond tree close to his grave. And even to this day, that almond tree relics as a mark of friendship and long-lasting love.
Why do we celebrate Valentin’s day Story 2
Story 2: The characters remain the same with difference in the version
During the third century, the priest named Valentine served in Rome. Emperor Claudius II was a very cruel and believed that single men served as better soldiers that the ones who were married with wife and children. So he barred marriage for young men serving in this army. Valentine felt that the ruling was injustice towards the soldiers, so he disobeyed Claudius and secretly performed marriage for the young lovers. He used to wear a ring with cupid on it as a symbol of love- so that the soldiers could recognize him. He used to handout cards in the shape of heart to the Christians to prompt them their love for god. But when the emperor got information about Valentine’s deed, Claudius ordered death penalty for Valentine. This legend is the reason St. Valentine came to be known as the saint of love.
(Story 1and 2 are combined by some in continuity)
Why do we celebrate Valentin’s day Story 3
Some say that the Christian church chose to celebrate mid of February month as St. Valentine’s feast day in order to “Christianize” the Lupercalia festival. Lupercalia is usually celebrated on February 15 as a fertility festival dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture, Faunus and also to the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus.
The festival begins with the Roman priests, the member of the Luperci, meet at a holy cave where it is believed that the infants Romulus and Remus, were cared by a she-wolf or lupa. The Roman priests sacrifice a goat, as a symbol of fertility and a dog, as a symbol for sanitization. Then they would make goat hide into strips, dip it into the blood of those sacrificial animals and take it through the streets, slapping it gently to both the women and the crops in the field.
The roman women didn’t fear for this, instead welcomed the hides touch as they believed that it would make them more fertile in the year ahead. Later that day, as per the legend, all the willing young women would drop their names into a big urn placed in the city. The city bachelors pick a name from the urn and they were paired for the year with that women. Often these pairing end up into marriage.
The story of Saint Valentine that sets base for the beginning of this day might be anything, people celebrate this day to express their love for that special person in their life, a special romantic partnership with each other.
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