Most people think of Valentines as the Love Holiday. I know I got married the week of Valentines, and am still married to my Valentine. Other's think of it as the big day to send cards. Estimates are that 1 billion cards will be sent on Valentines Day this year, making Valentines the second biggest card sending holiday in America, Christmas being the first. Florists, of course, love Valentines Day. It's a huge chocolate day, although nobody has given me any yet today. I'll keep waiting. For others, it's just a big bummer because they are single, divorced, widowed or somehow otherwise left out of the chocolate giving and receiving. Hey, if Jesus, Paul or Jesus' mother Mary were around today they probably wouldn't have been giving or receiving chocolate either. But their value was based on who they were before God, not on whether their chocolate came from Godiva or Lindt Swiss. Actually Valentines is a Christian holiday, so everybody needs to get over it!
It was Saint Valentin, who was martyred for his faith that all of the traditions of Valentines seem to point back to. One of the many stories about how our modern traditions grew out of these martyrdom's is that on the night before he was martyred Valentin sent out his last love note that simply said, "From Your Valetin." Who knows?
The first reference we have to Valentines, the way we look at it today, comes from Geoffrey Chaucer (1343 – 1400), the author of the Canterbury Tales. One of his poems talks of two lovebirds and Valentines Day.
So who really knows? What we do know is that Christians are still martyred today. To read about that click here.
Regardless of all of the origins, it's always good to appreciate those you love and to show it in some tangible ways. I'm sure the best way to express love is to just be nice, but some expressions in other forms can't hurt either!
Happy Valentines Day!