Valentine’s day is a day filled with love, chocolate, and dinner dates for couples. A day when single people (females especially) are supposedly lamenting their pathetic lives and questioning why no one loves them. Too far? Too soon?
Well, that’s what it seems like Valentine’s Day is turning into. What started off as a seemingly pure love story has been manipulated and turned into a “holiday” that exploits couples and their love while degrading the unattached.
Let’s look at how it all presumably began according to History.com so we can reflect on what it has become:
“The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. 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.
No matter how it actually went down, it has turned into something bigger than anyone would have ever imagined! Even though I’m happy people are in the spirit of love on this day (if you want my two cents) it shouldn’t matter what day it is, you should express love for yourself and others everyday!