This may come as a shock to you, but I am not the world’s most romantic guy. I’m not a hearts and flowers guy who ladles effusive praise on his partner while ushering them into a limo where we will be feted by midgets dressed as cherubs whilst we’re whisked to a private beach for …. I have no idea.
I am the guy who will do extra chores without being asked (most of the time). I am the guy who will remind her she’s pretty on days where the concept seems to elude her. I am the one who will love her with all my heart and soul no matter the slings and arrows life aims at us.
I guess, what I’m saying, is that Valentine’s Day can be a different experience for everyone and still have meaning. Back in 2013, over at my nonfiction blog World News Center I wrote a lengthy history about Valentine’s day and the way different cultures honor love; from Japan’s Penis Festival to China’s Seven Sisters which leads many UFO enthusiasts to believe they have proof of alien visitations. They don’t but here we are anyway.
But, one thing still mystifies people. Who is St. Valentine? We know someone with that name existed. After that, it’s kind of a blur. Let’s take the wayback machine to 2013 to see what I wrote then since not much has changed.
Valentine’s day is widely attributed to a celebration of the selfless death of St. Valentine. The problem arises when you try to figure out which one. Here’s what the Catholic church, the people who authorize saints, has to say; “At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under date of 14 February. One is described as a priest at Rome, another as bishop of Interamna (modern Terni), and these two seem both to have suffered in the second half of the third century and to have been buried on the Flaminian Way, but at different distances from the city. In William of Malmesbury’s time what was known to the ancients as the Flaminian Gate of Rome and is now the Porta del Popolo, was called the Gate of St. Valentine. The name seems to have been taken from a small church dedicated to the saint which was in the immediate neighborhood. Of both these St. Valentines some sort of Acta are preserved but they are of relatively late date and of no historical value. Of the third Saint Valentine, who suffered in Africa with a number of companions, nothing further is known.”
But whether it was the fate of the 3rd century inmate who allegedly cured the jailer’s daughter’s blindness just before he was executed or one of the other guys, we do know that by the late 1400’s Chaucer was writing about the holiday in his Parliament of Foules.
For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.
What’s missing from the story thus far?
Some might say that I am missing the connection to the Lupercalia. They would be right. I have not discussed how Valentine’s day got connected to a pagan holiday. Nor did I mention how early Lupercalia lotteries were truly a prize worth winning. If you were an unmarried man and you won, you won a virgin. That beats the living hell out of a TV.
Yeah, the church had problems with that and the whole thing got watered down
However you celebrate, do so safely and in the spirit love. I’ll have regular McSciFi stuff for you next week.
Thanks for being here and Happy Valentine’s Day.