Valentine’s Day: “A Pink Holiday”
Red hearts, pink ribbons, candy packaged in purple, “angels” suspended in fluffy and blue clouds, among other sweet things that feel “good” – to the soul eager for “cute happenings” – are just some of the elements of Valentine’s Day.
Every February 14th – the day of St. Valentine in the West – is celebrated with great fast, and this “holiday” had penetrated so deeply into the mind of modern man, for if you ask what greater holiday is to be celebrate in February, you are been answered without hesitation: Valentine’s Day! This day becoming a clear marking on the twisted map of consumerism.
Valentine’s day – a business under the mask of a “holiday”
Absolutely all traders are trying to profit from this; in fact, this commercial love lasts only for a day. A day in which most business are trying hard to give “deals”: a bouquet of flowers – 40 dollars, a puffy heart – only for few dollar, a candle shaped as a heart to burn just for one hour – few dollars. Everything that you may want… ceramic vases, underwear, monkeys, jewelry, books, and why not, slippers and bath towels so naturally, as long as there is a demand, these toys will continue to sell.
All like in the real story of the Tower of Babel…
Valentine’s Day – the invasion of red hearts
Almost all the products that vendors offer for the so-called day of love, have at least one red heart. Obviously, these offers are designed for every budget, so that anyone by spending a small or great amount, may get into the “spirit” of the American celebration of St. Valentine.
Valentine’s Day – Origin!
The Valentine’s Day has its origins in the tradition of ancient Rome, when festivities were organized on February 15, in the honor of the pagan gods Juno and Pan. Because it was also a celebration of fertility, the pagan practice required that the unmarried young girls may write love notes, and these messages were placed in a basket for the boys to extract one randomly. According to that tradition, the participants were obliged to court primarily the one “elected” based on the message written on that note, and of course, this started all sorts of stories…
Valentine’s day was also called long ago, the Birds Wedding Day, because it was thought that the birds choose their mate on this very day.
With time, these pagan Roman habits acquired a Christian character becoming falsely a celebration of fertility attributed to St Valentine.
Be my Valentine?!
The day of Saint Valentine, the “patron of lovers”, had lost its meaning in legends and the history of the Roman Empire. Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints all martyred, called Valentine or Valentinus, but not on this day.
One legend says that Valentine was a priest who served the III-rd century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius the II-nd decided that unmarried men were better soldiers than those with wives and families, outlawed marriage for young people. The Emperor wanted to form a “real team” of unmarried men as potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of this decree, continued to officiate marriages for young lovers in secret. When his work was discovered, the king sentenced him to death. Other traditions say that Valentine was killed for attempting to help Christians to escape from the terrible prisons where Christians were beaten and tortured.
According to another legend, Valentine is the one who sent the first valentine greeting while in prison, after he fell in love with the daughter of a prison guard and, before he died, it is said that he wrote a letter which he signed it “from your Valentine”.
St. Valentine in the Orhodox Church
Every year, on February 14, Orthodox Christians are facing a double paradox. First, everyone heard of Valentine’s Day, so in a sense, anyone can define briefly this “holiday” while not many seem to know who is Saint Valentine.
On the other hand, many are annoyed by the fact that on this day in the Orthodox calendar, we do not see any saint to bear this name. Another intersting fact is that even the Roman Catholic calendar doesn’t post a saint with this name on this day. St. Valentine mentioned in one of the legend above, was removed from the Roman Catholic calendar in 1969 due to ambiguity of this man life that wound lead to his consecration. Currently, on February 14, the Roman church comemorates Saints Cyril and Methodius.
So from a Christian view, we are not mastaken to say that Valentine’s Day, dispite all “marketing” is a “holiday” when we remember no one! Saint Valentine been commemorated by the Orthodox Church on July 30th.
Saint Valentine the Bishop was born in 175, in Interamna (an italian region called today Umbria). He was ordained priest by St. Feliciano of Foligno, and Bishop of Interamna by Pope Victor the Ist, in 197.
An outstanding preacher of Christ Gospel, a wonder-worker and healer, St Valentine was much loved by his followers. He healed Frontanus, the brother of a Roman governor, from a very difficult disease. When Cherimon the son of the famous philosopher Craton, got sik, under Frontanus’s instructions, called Bishop Valentine of Rome for councel. Cherimon suffered rom a debilitating disease that contorted his whole body. After St. Valentine spent a night in prayer, Cherimon was completely healed. After showing himself to his father Craton, the philosopher decided to be baptized and his whole family embraced Christianity along with his three disciples.
Saint Valentine was arrested, tortured and beheaded in Rome, at the age close to one hundred years, from the order of governor Furius Placid, during the persecution of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Saint Valentine was murdered in secret, at night, to avoid any rebellion form the people of Terni. His holy relics are found today in the church of Terni, Italy.
The three baptized disciples of Craton: Procus, Ephiv and Apollo, were murdered together with St. Valentine in 273.
In the Orthodox calendar, the Holy Martyr and Bishop Valentine, is commemorated on July 30. In the Orthodox Church. there are many martyrs who bared his name: Holy Martyrs Mark Sotirih and Valentine – October 24, Holy Martyr Valentina – February 10, St. Valentine the Martyr – April 24, St. Valentine the priest – July 06, and Holy Martyr Valentina – July 18.