FEBRUARY 14th … IT’S VALENTINE’S DAY!

Saint Valentine’s Day or Valentine’s Day is on February 14th. It is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other; sending Valentines cards, candy, or donations to charities, often anonymously. It is very common to present flowers on Valentine’s Day. The holiday is named after two men, both Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic lovE in the High Middle Ages when the tradition of courtly love florished.

The day is most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of “valentines”. Modern Valentine symbols include the heart-shaped outline and the figure of the winge Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have largely given way to mass-produce greeting cards. The Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas. The association estimates that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.
In the United States, the marketing of Valentine’s Day has tagged it as a “Hallmark Holiday”. A recent trend has been to refer to February 14 as Single Awareness Day!

Medieval and modern times

Using the language of the law courts for the rituals of courtly love, a “High Court of Love” was established in Paris on Valentine’s Day in 1400. The court dealt with love contracts, betrayals, and violence against women. Judges were selected by women on the basis of a poetry reading.
The earliest surviving valentine dates from 1415. It is a poem written by Chareles, Duke of Orleans to his wife. At the time, the duke was being held in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt .
It is probable that the various legends about St. Valentine were invented during this period.

Among these legends:

On the evening before Valentine was to be martyred for being a Christian, he passed a love note to his jailer’s daughter that read, “From your Valentine.”
During a ban on marriages of Roman soldiers by the Emperor Claudius II, St. Valentine secretly helped arrange marriages Valentine’s Day is mentioned by the character “Ophelia in Hamlet:
“Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s Day.”

In 1836, relics of St. Valentine of Rome were donated by Pope gregory XVI to the Whitefriarstreet Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland. In the 1960s, the church was renovated and relics restored to prominence.
In 1969 as part of a larger effort to pare down the number of saint days of purely legendary origin, the Church removed St. Valentine’s Day as an official holiday from its calender February 14 is now dedicated only to Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius.

~~~HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY~~~

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