Thursday, 14 February 2013

The Mysterious St. Valentine

"My dearest miss, I send thee a kiss"
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. 
William Shakespeare

St Valentines day is a holiday shrouded in mystery- whilst the origins of celebrations like Christmas and Pancake Day are known and celebrated, St Valentines day is one with a more foggy past.

One legend says that Valentine was a priest living in 3rd Century Rome, a time when marriage was outlawed. 
Valentine continued to perform marriages in secret, and would give out small hearts made from parchment to remind persecuted Catholics of Gods love for them - an act that is mirrored in todays traditions.
At a time where Catholics were under much persecution, the Emperor ordered that Valentine be put to death for defying him, and on the day before his execution he wrote a letter to the daughter of his jailer, whom he had previously performed a miracle on. 
He signed the letter with "From Your Valentine", a phrase which is still used today. 
On the day of his death - the 14th of February- the girl whom he performed a miracle planted an almond tree above the grave of Valentine- a symbol which remains today, reminding us of love and friendship.
A 14th century picture of Valentine and his Disciples