On Valentine's Day...
We have entered the season of love. Daily, a chorus of pinks, purples and reds greet us, while a theme consisting of hearts and small flying babies that are skilled at archery, overwhelm us. Valentine's Day has come upon us and whether we are rea...
We have entered the season of love.
Daily, a chorus of pinks, purples and reds greet us, while a theme consisting of hearts and small flying babies that are skilled at archery, overwhelm us. Valentine's Day has come upon us and whether we are ready or not; small intoxicating arrows of love are being shot at us from every angle.
Who is this St. Valentine we celebrate annually? Why does he stand for romance? The history of Valentine's Day, and its patron saint, is shrouded in mystery. Valentine's Day contains traces of both Christian and Roman history, and the Catholic church recognizes three different St. Valentines, yet there are no definite answers.
There are many characters in different religions whose lives and deaths have been romanticized. Stories stem from the truth, but as time goes on, and the tales are told and retold, passed from generation to generation, facts begin to become hazy and partial truth is lost.
St. Valentine is one such character. The three St. Valentines are said to be martyrs, all lost their lives on Feb. 14. One is described as a priest in Rome, another as bishop of Interamna, and the third St. Valentine is only known to have suffered in Africa until his death.
The actual death of St. Valentine is a mystery, but in 1835, the remains, or what is believed to be the remains, of St. Valentine were given to an Irish priest named Father John Spratt. Spratt had impressed Pope Gregory XVI by preaching passionately during a visit to Rome.
The gift of Valentine's remains can still be viewed every Valentine's Day at the Whitefriar Street Church, in Dublin Ireland.
Valentines day got a slow start, Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14 as St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D., but written Valentine greetings and common rituals didn't start until as late as 1400 A.D.
The first Valentine's Day greeting card in America was produce in the 1840s by Esther Howland. She sold $5,000 worth of Valentine's Day cards, a large sum for that time period.
`The valentine industry in the United States has been booming ever since. Today, over 1 billion valentine cards are sent in this country each year, second in number only to Christmas cards, according to the Greeting Card Association.
Although Valentine's Day isn't actually based on cupid and colorful hearts, that is the way our society celebrates it. We are consumers, and therefore things are marketed to us.
As a consumer society, holidays are often viewed as an opportunity to spend money and make ourselves 'happy' with material things. Holidays have never been, or never will be, created for an opportunity to buy.
They always have deeper or more meaningful roots, no matter how we celebrate them. Christmas has nothing to do with Santa, just like Valentine's Day doesn't seem to have much to do with Cupid, yet they have been twisted to satisfy the consumer in us all.
Sarah Rosten is a senior at Detroit Lakes High School.