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The Forgotten Valentine

For those who celebrate or not, the tale of how it all began, to whom this day's celebration found its humble beginnings. Read, but do not weep, he did all for love.

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Valens, you are esteemed worthy,
at the Via Flaminia you lay:
Valentinus offered up in faith.
Your deeds aren't known in our day.

In this life you wed young couples;
an act the Emperor would not permit.
And though your grace the monarch received,
your execution he did transmit.

Alas, with clubs and stones they came,
challenged by your fortitude great;
whose blows did not complete the deed -
your head severed at Flaminian's Gate.

These days we celebrate Valentine,
dedicate and plan for those we love;
oblivious to how it all began-
the depth of love known only Above.

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Comments

I read your blog and realized I had no idea where
the holiday came from. I know it's over commercialized
but people can and do make it a special day.

I looked it up and found your take but it seems history
isn't quite clear, there are a few different stories.

http://atheism.about.com/od/religiousholidays/a/valentine.htm

That is where the romance and wonder of it lay. It is a bit clearer than the historicity of Arthurian lore. At least we know some things for sure in this case, he existed, he did what he did & got killed for it. And later on the religious community decided to celebrate his worthy deeds. That to me was enough fodder to create a poem relating the origin of the observance.

Thanks for sharing your research, insight, and response to my humble poem. I blogged it in stead of posting it on the main stream as it didn't seem to fit.

Cheers.

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'Break, break break on thy cold grey stones, O Sea.'

author comment

Saint Valentine's Day, commonly known as Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is observed on February 14 each year.
It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it remains a working day in most of them.
St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus.
The most popular martyrology associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire;
During his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius.
Legend states that before his execution he wrote her a letter "from your Valentine" as a farewell.
Today, Saint Valentine's Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the Lutheran Church.
The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates Saint Valentine's Day, albeit on July 6th and July 30th, the former date in honour of the Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and the latter date in honour of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni).
The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages.
When the tradition of courtly love flourished.
By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines").
Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

A good write there young CB lets have some more for our learning curve, Yours Ian.T

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There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

I would have not ventured writing it, or any of my other 'historically inspired, poems, where it not for a keen primary school interest in myths, lore, legends, folk stories, & oral histories. That too possesses an innate magic & imaginative aspect, just like poetry. An awe inspiring combination, at least I think so. Thanks for your kind & comprehensive words in response.

__________________________________________________
'Break, break break on thy cold grey stones, O Sea.'

author comment

the day was already a Pagan holiday filled with fertility
rituals meant to enhance life not romance, it is believed that
one of the at least three persons martyred was executed
on that day and the day was later named St. Valentine's Day.

Lupercalia was 'Christianised' and Saturnalia became Christmas. I guess that is another factor in the mixing up & intermingling of facts, fiction, & traditions.

__________________________________________________
'Break, break break on thy cold grey stones, O Sea.'

author comment
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