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Celebrate Love This Valentine’s Day – A History Lesson

Are you expecting something special this Feb 14? Or are you one of the many who would rather overlook this day of love and romance? Whether you’re in love or not, Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year when we can focus on our hearts to celebrate love.

Valentine’s Day hasn’t always been about romance. A day steeped in mystery and superstition, it is rooted in Roman and Christian tradition. Legend has it that the martyred St. Valentine sent the first “valentine” himself from prison to the daughter of his jailor’s daughter, signed “from your Valentine”.

Valentine thus become a Patron Saint, and spiritual overseer of an annual Roman festival during which young men offered women they admired, and wished to court, handwritten greetings of affection on February 14. 

The Valentine’s Day card spread with Christianity, and is now celebrated all over the world. One of the earliest cards is now in a British museum, sent in 1415 by Charles, duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was being held in the Tower of London.

By the 18th century, in England it was common to exchange gifts and hand-made messages of love on Feb 14. In the 1850’s valentines were first being mass-produced in the United States, the inspiration of a Holyoke graduate, Esther Howland. And thus began the commercialization of Valentine’s Day. The rest, as they say, is history.

 For me, Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to remind myself of how much I love my friends and family, my pets, my home, my community and myself… a great day to remind myself to be in love with life. And so I pass the reminder on to you.

If you have a special someone in your life, take a little time this Feb 14 to create a bit of romance between you, to remind yourselves why you fell in love – the simplest gestures work – baking a special cake, or writing a love-note. And if you’re single, use this day to celebrate love, do something special for yourself, write yourself that love-note.

Love is a powerful force in our lives, I urge you to invoke it this Feb 14.

Great Links for more information on the history of Valentine’s Day

http://www.crewsnest.vispa.com/valentine.htm
http://www.history.com/minisites/valentine/
http://www.theholidayspot.com/valentine/history_of_valentine.htm
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/valentinesdayhistory.html

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