Editorial: Day of love, imagination and caring
When considering legends, the fun part is choosing to believe what we wish. As we come to Valentine’s Day, there is plenty in relation to Saint Valentine.
Christian and ancient Roman traditions are both in the history that brings us to present-day rituals. Whether we’ve been to a local shop for cards, flowers and candy, or something with a bit more creativity, our routine begs for the unique and often ends with reaffirmations of love.
Three different saints with the name Valentine or Valentinus are within the Catholic Church. In one legend, Valentine thwarted a third century Roman emperor who believed non-married men made better soldiers. Valentine did this by performing secret marriages; we might say a bit of Romeo and Juliet long before William Shakespeare.
Another legend says Valentine helped Christians escape beatings and torture in Roman prisons. The story goes while a prisoner he sent a letter of love to a girl he admired, signing “From your Valentine.”
Around the globe today, Valentine’s Day will be observed not only here but also in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. For those of us buying cards, we’re with the crowd — an estimated 1 billion will be exchanged. It’s the second-largest card-sending holiday behind the 2.6 billion annually for Christmas.
Hence, we often colloquially refer to this date as a Hallmark holiday.
But it is a bit more than that, or at least, we hope.
Our Bible references love and variations of the word hundreds of times, the actual number depending on the translation. It is among the most frequent subjects.
We’re strong believers in resolving conflicts and issues with compassion rather than anger. We may have disagreements with others, but operating from hearts of love can allow us to do so without animosity and strife.
We’re not expecting to see blood-dipped goat hides today. Nor do we anticipate any animal sacrifices for feast rituals. If there’s a secret marriage, it probably won’t be in Your Favorite Good Morning Newspaper on Friday.
But we do feel certain more than a few of us will be Valentines. Be grateful of your blessings, enjoy the day and all the spoils that come with it.