There was once a Roman priest called Valentine who lived in the 3rd century. He did something so important at the time, that he is still remembered today in the 21st century.
Now that Valentine 2016 is here today, let’s get to know some basics about this day.
To give you some information, this venerated Roman Valentine guy made it his mission to secretly marry off young couples in the Christian manner. He ignored the command of the Roman Emperor Claudius who forbade young men to marry. The emperor came under the impression that single men were better fighters than married men for his army.
The young just didn’t like this hateful command of their emperor and eagerly got in touch with our guy Valentine. The priest did what he had to do. Once the Emperor came to know about it, his guards got in touch with our guy Valentine and dragged him to jail.
In jail, there was this jailor Asterius who had a blind intelligent daughter by the name of Julia. Impressed by the demeanor and personality of our guy Valentine, the jailor requested the priest to educate his daughter. Our guy agreed and Julia began absorbing knowledge from Valentine related to subjects like religion, mathematics, social sciences and even tales from faraway regions. The teacher and pupil relationship blossomed into a strong friendship of trust.
One evening Julia told our guy Valentine that she would love to see. She said she wanted to see everything that was told by him and whether his god would allow her to see. An emotional Valentine asked her to believe in God’s power. As evening turned into night and night began fading to dawn, Julia cried out loudly, “I can see.”
And thus began the legend of Saint Valentine and his eventual entry into your mind too. Over many centuries, he continues to be remembered and associated with this miracle.
At the time, Emperor Claudius too visited Valentine in jail to convince him against his beliefs. But our guy Valentine shook his head and said “No” very firmly. The emperor didn’t like such strong sense of faith and mental strength. He decided that the Roman priest Valentine would be executed the very next day.
Yes, some of you guessed it right. That fateful day was February 14, 270 AD.
The Farewell Message
On coming to know about his fate, Valentine wrote a heartfelt farewell message to Julia. He signed off his letter with the words: “From Your Valentine”.
My guess is, almost 92% of you know about Valentine Day or V-Day today. Courtesy of the mega marketing and advertising push by small and major brands, you know by now that V-Day has something to do with lovers. They exchange greeting cards and gifts on the day, signing it off with some variation of the immortal “From your Valentine”.
There is also the other side of the picture. If something as important as love is involved anywhere, then somebody as important as critics also have to be there.
Expressing strong disdain for any public display of affection, PDA for short, there are critics too of Valentine’s Day. They are of the opinion that February 14 should be observed as Parents Day and parents should be showered with love and respect on the day. They are least bothered about the legend and the traditional aspect of the day.
To each his own, but the fact remains that the day has a history and relevance to it. If Valentine’s Day has come to be known as a celebration of love, then those in love with any relationship label can use the day and express their love.
You can do it any other day too. But then on that day, you may or may not have the proverbial blessings of Saint Valentine — the patron saint of lovers around the world today.
Happy Valentine’s Day!