What’s Love Got To Do With It?
St. Valentine’s Day contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest during the third century in Rome. At the time, the Emperor Claudius 11 decreed that men who were not married and had no families made better soldiers.
Valentine felt that this was an injustice, defied the emperor, and continued to perform marriages in secret. When he was found out, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Well, that’s a bit extreme! Different times for sure….
Most of the Valentine’s celebrations, as it is with other holidays, get blended and obscured. This is a good example: On Feb 15th, in some pagan traditions, you have a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as a festival dedicated to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. These two festivals got rolled into Valentine’s day (after they made Valentine a Saint).
What’s Love got to do with it, you ask? Not a thing really.
Again we have old traditions blending, morphing and being passed down for whatever reasons we deem important. We connect this particular Saint’s holiday of love to our hearts, in various ways. For me, this holiday and every holiday is an opportunity to create and reinvent my interpretation of joy and celebration.
I choose to celebrate love everyday, but for that one time a year, Valentine’s Day, to really go full out and push my creative heart beyond all the candied hearts!
I feel if we make it our own holiday and are not controlled but what should happen, then joy seeps in. Take one moment and close your eyes.
Ask yourself who is in my life that honors me and brings me joy or maybe just a smile to my face. You then have a step in the right direction for your next authentic holiday experience!
Glenda Benevides musician, storyteller, activist, good human