Now could this be a blog about romance and not talk about Valentines Day.
First the history lesson. Not sure which St Valentine is remembered so here are some possibilities.
The Legend of St. Valentine
The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?
The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.
The earliest known romantic valentine verse was written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife in the 15th century:
Je suis desja d’amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée
[I am already sick of love,
My very gentle Valentine]
Sounds wonderful in French.
Here is a lovely Valentine poem to think upon
Must, bid the Morn awake!
Sad Winter now declines,
Each bird doth choose a mate;
This day’s Saint Valentine’s.
For that good bishop’s sake
Get up and let us see
What beauty it shall be
That Fortune us assigns.
– Michael Drayton
Quite a few articles I read suggested that the 14th Feb was chosen because it is the the time when the birds begin to look for mates and build nests.
So if you haven’t done anything for Valentines day let me encourage you do something very romantic for your mate. I am going to sign off and make a hand crafted card with my own poem for my man.