by Tamara Hillman
Originally February 14th was a pagan holiday celebrating Juno,
the Goddess of Women/Marriage.
But did you know there really was a St
Valentine and the holiday we celebrate this month in his name is very
much Christian? If not, I’m here to tell you all about it…
It seems, St
Valentine was born during the reign of Emperor “Claudius the Cruel” in
the mid 200’s AD, and he became a priest as a young man. Claudius had
many armies, and demanded victory in war but he found men fought most
fearlessly when they had no wife or sweetheart waiting for their return
back home after combat. The old King was devious, so he made a new
ruling that no soldier could be married or fall in love while in the
service of the Emperor, and this law was strictly enforced.
being what it is tho’, these men DID fall in love, and wished to be
married in secret so they could keep their heads from being lopped off
at the whim of Claudius. That’s where St. Valentine came to the rescue!
He held Catholic wedding ceremonies for these romantics at the great
risk of himself and the soldiers. This continued for sometime until
someone ratted to Emperor Claudius that Valentine was performing these
St. Valentine was immediately arrested and jailed for
a long time. While he languished in the dungeon, he made friends with
the jailer and his family whose quarters were connected to the prison
and who visited with him often.
Eventually, on February 14th, 269 AD, St
Valentine was beaten to death and beheaded as punishment for defying
Claudius, and refusing to deny Christ or Christianity. (I say, “Good for
Rumor has it that on the last night before Valentine’s execution,
the Saint wrote a quick farewell note to the jailer’s daughter, and
signed it—From Your Valentine! (Now, just maybe priests fall in love
after all…But it could be only if they are going to lose their heads the
very next day!)
By 496 AD, Pope Gelasius had heard about Valentine’s
disobedience to Claudius for the sake of romance, so he set aside
February 14th to honor this hero of gallant men. The holiday became a
day for lovers, and by the early 1800’s, the first Valentine cards were
sold. So much for your history lessons…
Now, on a personal note—I sure
remember how in grade school, we kids all made huge envelopes out of
bright red construction paper, decorated the outside as we saw fit, and
stapled the edges to close the bottom and sides. Then the teacher posted
them around the room, and on Valentine’s Day, we brought our thirty-five
cards, (sold for fifty cents a package) to class, and placed a card
(signed especially by us) in each of the oversized envelopes. It was a
time to share a kind word or thought with our fellow students. Not a bad
practice in my book.
Ok, before I get all mushy and sentimental about
I’ll carry on with a couple of scribbles…
Here’s one I
wrote with my hubby in mind…Wish he deserved me—ha! ha!
Daylight draws to a close
as purple shadows dance along mountaintops.
Arms intertwined, we walk the dusty path home—
yellow porch light beckoning as Bounder chases ahead.
Another day has ended but
life goes on—
Our love is eternal.
This one also was written with my Stephen in mind since he was born and
raised in the East, and I was born and raised out west on a farm…
To view this poem click below
COWGIRL AND THE YANKEE
Hang in there, buckaroos!