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Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Legend of St. Valentine and Valentine's Day - CeciliaRosalie Resident Reporting...


Saint Valentine



Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, although it remains a working day in most of them. Candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from?

The Legend

The history of Valentine's Day--and the story of its patron saint--is shrouded in mystery. February has long been celebrated as a month of romance and St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.

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.




The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates Saint Valentine's Day, albeit on July 6th and July 30th, the former date in honor of the Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and the latter date in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna.

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, thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Origins: Lupercalia & St. Valentine - A Pagan Festival in February


While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial--which probably occurred around A.D. 270--others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to "Christianize" the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.
Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”.

A Day of Romance

At the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds' mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine's Day should be a day for romance.

Typical Valentine's Day Greetings

n addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings.

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s. “Mother of the Valentine”: Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, she made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colourful pictures known as "scrap." Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.


SL CELEBRATES!

One more time Real Life join hands with Second Life. Special items are being made for this day from flowers, clothes and jewelry so Avies can exchange gifts to special destinations, such as VALENTINE TOWN 2013: Valentine Town is a visual panorama of all things that denote love and affection. From chocolate waterfalls to the sugary delight of giant gumballs, expect an endless feast for all the senses with remarkable vistas and colors that bathe visitors with affectionate delight. Incredible stores are also packed with items for passionate lovers and those they love. There's a good range of featured events to choose from, several Valentine's Day parties including competition and so much more can be found in the destination guide: http://secondlife.com/destinations?lang=en-US


Love is in the air!!!
Happy Valentine's Day to all <3<3

CeciliaRosalie Resident


References used: Domi Encyclopedia
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/SMIGRA*/Lupercalia.html
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