Every year more than 62% of Americans take part in Valentine’s Day by sending cards, buying flowers or other gifts, enjoying a romantic dinner, or doing all of the above.
Valentine’s began further back than you may realize. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus. Each of them were martyred. One account says that Valentine was a priest who served in third century Rome. The Emperor Claudius II had outlawed marriage on account of his belief that single men made better soldiers.
Valentine, a romantic at heart, didn’t agree and defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine was found out he was put to death.
Another legend has it that Valentine was imprisoned and fell in love with a young girl, possibly his jailer’s daughter who would visit him. Before his death it is said that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine.” The phrase has carried on until today.
Written Valentines began to appear after 1400. History.com tells us
The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.
Today over one billion cards are sent every year,second highest in number only to Christmas.
So if you are one of the 62% who will take part in Valentine’s, here’s some advice:
- If you are just now thinking about what you need to do for your special loved one you’re already late. You’ve got today to come up with something special or unique to say “I love you.” No sweat. But get busy!
- Even if that’s the case remember: it’s just one day of the year. Don’t put too much on this one day to get it right. You may be sick or your loved one may be having a bad day. Love lasts year round, so celebrate yours on this day but remember you have 364 others too.
- If you don’t have a special “Valentine”… don’t feel any pressure to rush out and get one. Bad things happen when you try to force romance.
- And, because it’s all over the movie news this weekend, know that the color of real love isn’t 50 Shades of Grey.Women—most likely your husband isn’t Mr. Grey. And for that matter, you most likely aren’t Anastasia. (I only know the names because I Googled them. Really.) And men, your wife may not be on the cover of Sports Illustrated this month. But you probably aren’t to be found anywhere inside the magazine either. Spice up your marriage by loving the uniqueness of your relationship—not one you find in a book or on screen. Men, let your wife know that she is the number one woman in your life. Women, let your husband know that he’s the main man in your life. Build each other up through love and see what great things happen.
Take on the spirit of St. Valentine and love someone in an authentic, unconditional way today. And if some romance happens along the way…good for you!
Question: How will you tell someone that you love them today?