It’s well known that the origins of Valentine’s Day are varied but well documented.
This was the first piece of information that I came across: “The holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the fifth century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine's Day.”
Another insight into the day and the celebration was also garnered from an online search: “The ancient Romans may also be responsible for the name of our modern day of love. Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the third century A.D.” Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine's Day.
A couple of immediate thoughts popped into my head. First, I am both disgusted by the lottery system back then and relieved that Pope Gelasius had the wisdom to replace the name, and hopefully, the entire practice. Then, good for another decision by the church to honour the martyrdom of two different men named Valentine and further recognize genuine love.
The next thing I rejoice in each year is that my husband of nearly 53 years celebrates his birthday on Feb. 14 and our love has only grown over the years. Of course, we’ve had our spats but, in all honesty, what couple hasn’t? Over the past five-plus decades, love has gained new ground, displayed itself in different ways but always, reminded us of the need for faithfulness and gratitude for each other.
I pray your Valentine’s Day will be rich, in spite of all that COVID throws at us. God’s love is consistently faithful and wonderful.
“Oh, how He loves you and me.”