We all know it’s coming up!
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a Catholic, and so it should come as no surprise to you that Valentine’s day is more symbolic to me than just the cheesy, Hallmark version that gets perpetuated every year. You may be surprised to know that the Catholic church actually knows very little about St. Valentine, except that he was martyred, and many of the stories and miracles attributed to him [that occurred during his lifetime] and dependent more upon legend than fact. Being a student of literature, and particularly fond of fiction, this doesn’t pose a problem for me, as there are plenty of moral lessons to be learned from fictitious tales. Different depictions of St. Valentine’s arrests tell that he secretly married couples so husbands wouldn’t have to go to war, while another variation of the legend says he refused to sacrifice to pagan gods, was imprisoned and while imprisoned he healed the jailer’s blind daughter. On the day of his execution, he left the girl a note signed, “Your Valentine.” This is how the tradition of leaving “valentines” is said to have begun.
Either way, this was a man who was the depiction of love; love of God. His example of love, in any of the given stories, is one to be celebrated. It brings to the forefront of my mind, not only the love I have for my family but also my love of God [which is arguably more important]. So yes, I hang cheesy, red and pink heart decorations around the house. My husband and I exchange gifts and usually go out on a date. We even exchange gifts with Sophie, as that was a tradition my mother used to with us that always made me feel special and loved. Not to mention, I like an excuse to eat chocolate just as much as the next person.
So take time this weekend to tell the people you care about that you love them! There’s nothing stupid or overrated about showing love and appreciation to the important people in your life.