Tomorrow, we’ll be celebrating the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day. Typically, Feb. 14 is filled with candied hearts, romantic candlelit dinners and lots of overly affectionate couples parading down the street.
Frankly, I’m sick of it. So let’s fight the power, throw caution to the wind and celebrate St. V’s day with a bit of traditionalism, shall we?
First, let’s learn about the holiday’s namesake:
“Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith ineffectual, commanded him to be beaten with clubs, and afterwards, to be beheaded, which was executed on February 14, about the year 270.” (www.catholic.org)
Luckily for us, we’ve decided as a society to celebrate superficial affection on the execution date of a martyr. But this guy wasn’t just tough – he was tough as nails. Not only did he try to convert the emperor, but he stayed alive even after being beaten with clubs for his religious evangelism. (Eventually the Roman Empire decided to avoid any chance of his survival by beheading him.)
However, the story goes on:
“Saints are not supposed to rest in peace; they’re expected to keep busy: to perform miracles, to intercede. Being in jail or dead is no excuse for non-performance of the supernatural. One legend says, while awaiting his execution, Valentinus restored the sight of his jailer’s blind daughter. Another legend says, on the eve of his death, he penned a farewell note to the jailer’s daughter, signing it, ‘From your Valentine.’” (www.catholic.org)
Just think about this the next time you send a lace-covered, heart-shaped card with a tiny teddy bear to your lover: You’re reenacting the final good deed of a saint who died for what he believed in, who MADE A BLIND GIRL SEE. But yeah, the type of flowers you get the girl you like is totally important. (Note to guys: It actually is important what type of flowers you get your partner. I learned that lesson the hard way.)
So let’s all just take one deep inhalation and relax. Trust me, everything is going to be OK. Just show up on time to your date, smell nice and don’t be a scoundrel.
And for those of you who are single and looking for something other than love to celebrate, you have options. St. Valentine is the patron saint of: bee keepers, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, plague, travelers and young people. So if you run into me on Feb. 14, it’ll be easy to figure out who I am. I’ll be the guy traveling with my friends (and avoiding the plague going around campus) to greet the epileptic bee keepers. Happy Valentine’s Day!