On Valentine's Day this year numerous people expressed displeasure about how silly it is to have just one day to celebrate love.
I'm sure you are all for 365 days of noncommercial love, just like I am.
So we can all remember the beautiful essence of this day, I offer you the "real" story of Valentine's Day, which is filled with love, courage and selfless giving. Enjoy, and keep on loving!
The Story of St. Valentine
St. Valentine lived in Rome during the third century. At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. He was not well liked, Emperor Claudius.
Claudius wanted to have a big army. He expected men to volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their wives and families. As you might have guessed, not many men signed up. This made Claudius furious. So what happened? He had a crazy idea. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. So Claudius decided not to allow any more marriages. Young people thought his new law was cruel. St. Valentine openly rejected this law.
As a priest, St Valentine felt one of the most sacred acts he could perform was to marry couples. Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, Valentine continued performing marriage ceremonies -- secretly - in the true spirit of holy matrimony. They would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers.
One night, they heard footsteps. Valentine helped the couple he was marrying escape before soldiers arrived, but he was captured, thrown in jail and told that his punishment was death.
Many young people came to the jail to visit Valentine. They threw flowers and notes up to his window. They wanted him to know that they, too, believed in love, not war.
One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit Valentine in the cell. Sometimes they would sit and talk for hours. She helped to keep Valentine's spirits up. She felt he had done a brave service by ignoring the Emperor, honoring the love between people and going ahead with the secret marriages. On the day he was to die, Valentine left a note to the daughter of the prison guard, thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it, "Love from your Valentine"
This event and note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine's Day. It was written on the day St. Valentine was executed, February 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. And remember too, the so-called "powers that be" often try to stand in the way of love. St. Valentine is the hero of love against all odds, knowing that love cannot be beaten!
Shining Big Love,
An energy therapist, relationship and spiritual life coach, Ariana is a lover of love in all of its many delicious forms; self love, couples love, family love, community love and ultimately, the universal love that pervades all.