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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, February 14, 2014

At the Close of Valentine's Day

This Day in History: February 14, 278 A.D.

Hopefully your day has been filled with love, joy and happiness, which is the premise behind this day's celebration. As with the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, not all Valentine's Days have been the most pleasant.

A step back in time...

Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
For a moment, step back in time to 278 A.D. Now, that's a long time not just in years, but centuries. Think Rome. Think Roman Empire and the rule of Claudius the Cruel, 42nd Emperor of the Roman Empire.

Rome was besieged with many unpopular and bloody campaigns. There was a strong attachment of the men to their wives and families thus a strong reluctance in joining the Emperor's military forces.

To change the situation, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. This was not taken lightly by Valentine, a holy priest in Rome. Valentine continued to perform marriages and honor engagements in secret for young lovers until his deeds were discovered. Before going further keep in mind that Emperor Claudius was known as Claudius the Cruel so he did not take lightly the services performed by Valentine behind his back.

The first Valentine's Day message of love...

It was upon the orders of Claudius that Valentine was put to death - beaten first, then beheaded. This occurred on February 14 on or about 268-270 A.D. Legendary beliefs show while in jail, Valentine became friends of the jailer's daughter. He supposedly left a farewell note for her signed "From Your Valentine." Thus, the first Valentine's Day message of love.

It was not until after his death when Valentine was named a saint for his many services during his lifetime.

There are several legends and myths surrounding Valentine's Day with different individuals by the name of Valentine being involved. Each of these legends vary on its connection to romance but all were martyred. Origins of Valentine's Day vacillate from Pagan to Christian but the consistent thread remains to be romance.

Declaration of February 14 as Valentine's Day...

At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 to be St. Valentine's Day, and centuries later romantic authors like Geoffrey Chaucer and Shakespeare helped seal the deal with references to the day in their works. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orléans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. Through the years, February 14 has become more and more popular as a date for exchanging love messages, poems and simple gifts, such as stuffed animals, candy and flowers. Valentine's Day is the second largest card-sending holiday of the year next to Christmas.

At the close of Valentine's Day...

Thus, we are at the end of yet another Valentine's Day where its original color ran red with blood instead of roses! In today's society, this day has been set aside as a loving day with the only blood drawn being that from the prickly stem of the rose.

As you look ahead, don't leave the loving thoughts of Valentine's Day behind. Every day can be a Valentine's Day as long as there is passion in your heart and a loving spirit in your soul!