What is Valentine's Day? by Psychic Trecinda

Date 1/10/2023

A heart shaped silphium

A heart shaped silphium seed

Valentine’s Day, named for the third-century Roman saint, is upon us, but some of us do not know the origin of this special day.  Who was Saint Valentine?  And why do we exchange heart-shaped gifts on the fourteenth of February?

Multiple “Valentines” existed, but one stands out in particular.  A third-century Roman priest under the reign of Claudius II, Valentinus felt love for the Christian community of his day and, in direct opposition to Roman law, he married Christian couples and gay Roman soldiers who came to him asking for legal marital status.  When the Romans discovered Valentinus’ illegal actions, they seized him and imprisoned him.  When he was brought before Claudius, the emperor actually enjoyed his company for a time, until Valentinus tried to convert Claudius to Christianity.  Claudius condemned Valentinus to death.  He was first clubbed and stoned, and then finally beheaded in the spring in or around 270 AD.

Recognized as a saint for his martyrdom for the Christian faith, his spirit keeps busy as a guardian for people in love.  Artists usually present birds and roses in their depictions of him.  With the thought that February 14 was the beginning of the mating season for birds, it is no wonder that winged creatures including pudgy cherubs adorn the billions of cards that are sent every year for this special day.  And, because romantic love can often cause pregnancy, the shape of the seed of the silphium plant is used (the heart shape) since it was used as a natural contraceptive.

The revealing of truths behind the myth might be curious and entertaining, but there is no doubt that Valentine’s Day is made for lovers!  Consider this my curious, yet love-filled, Valentine’s Day card to you, dear readers!  

Author's Photo by Trecinda x7031


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