I haven’t been blogging as much lately. An awful lot has happened in the last year and some of it I’m still processing and I tend to do that in my journals as opposed to online, but I will post my yearly take on VD…Valentine’s Day…or venereal disease, which you can get from spending your Valentine’s Day with the wrong person .
The kidlet, in her ever present mindset of wanting to learn about the world around her, and us in our homeschooling philosophy, allow her to learn about history as it happens and the days we celebrate. We learned about MLK on his day, and Lincoln on his birthday the other day. December 7th we watched videos on FDR’s speech on Pearl Harbor, the infamous “Day of Infamy” speech.
So today she wanted to know why we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day and who was this guy anyway?
Turns out this guy was hanging out during the Roman Empire days, refusing to give up his Christian faith, marrying Romans, and generally causing hate and discontent in the Empire. So High Dude Claudius (his official title…or something) decides this guy is a pain in his ass and has to go. Valentine is arrested and imprisoned which is actually not going too bad and Claudius decides maybe this guy isn’t so bad and starts liking him a little, hanging out with him, and trying to get this guy off his soap box. That’s when Valentine made the mistake of trying to convert Claudius to Christianity and all hell broke loose. Now Claudius is really pissed and Valentine is sentenced to be beaten and stoned. (Good, tolerant guys, those Romans!)
Unfortunately beating the living crap out of this guy and stoning him doesn’t work and he’s still alive, so he then gets sentenced to be beheaded on February 14th. The Christians don’t like this and the Pope declares Valentine a martyr upon his execution because of his work in aiding Christians and marrying them during the Roman Empire. Information leads us to believe Valentine was executed and martyred in 269 or 270 AD. In 496 AD Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom.
The Pope declares this guy a Saint, giving him the Patron Saint duties of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travelers and young people. You know, all the lovey-dovey crap we surround February 14th with.
So, as you go about wishing your beloved a Happy Valentine’s Day, be sure to pause in remembrance of a dude in the 3rd century that went about marrying Romans even though it was against the law, and he was eventually beheaded for. (Kind of makes the whole marriage equality thing these days look like a little less of a thing, am I right?) And if you’re going to pray to Saint Valentine, be sure to be specific in case he gets those plagues and lovers mixed up.