Every one of us consider the 14th of February which is the Valentine’s Day as one of the most perfect days to celebrate love and affection. Flowers, chocolates, and love letters of any sort are all being presented to their love ones, just to make them feel special and appreciated.
But the questions are, do we even bother to ask ourselves why do we really celebrate Valentine’s Day? Is it really about thecelebration of love for those who are in a romantic relationship? Why it was named Valentine’s day? Who is Valentine?
Little do we know that the celebration of Valentine’s Day that we observe in the present;isa product of a complete confusion. According to an article posted in franciscanmedia.org, long time ago during the Middle Ages, there was a traditional belief in Europethat birds chose their partners in the middle of February. As a result, theday wasdedicated to celebration of love and they show it through writing romantic letters to their beloved.
Following the catholic roots of this celebration, we can trace it back during the persecution of Christians by Claudius II. A priest named Valentine was beheaded on February 14 after helping his fellow persecuted Christians. Here, we can see the relation of Valentine’s martyrdom to the spirit of the celebration itself, which is celebrating love. Martyrdom is considered as one of the highest form of manifesting love to God in the Catholic Church.
Many saints like Valentine have shown their unconditional love for the sake of God’s glory through shedding of their own blood. A sacrifice that requires full acceptance of God’s will and St. Valentine did just that.
This is what Valentine’s Day is all about. It is not about “I love you, you love me back”, this day must remind us that to love God must be our first priority. Therefore, we must understand that Valentine’s Dayis not about giving PRESENTS to the people we hold dearly, but rather it is about making ourselves an instrument to bring God’s PRESENCE to others. Thus this act is the true meaning of LOVE.