Monday, February 10, 2014

Redeeming St. Valentine's Day

If you follow me on Pinterest,
then you know my love for Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang!
  Note: I might get into a lot of trouble with this post

      So...this is a post I've been waiting almost an entire year to write. Now I should start off by saying, I'm single. I have never been one to bemoan my single status in public or on the web. I have never had a boyfriend and right now, I don't want one. My family have never been really big into Valentine's Day. A normal Valentine's Day for us is waking up and finding some sweet Valentine's Day chocolate on the table; lovingly bestowed to us by our parents (something they've been doing for almost 25 years).

     I don't know exactly when it began, but for quite a while Valentine's Day has also been referred to as 'Single Awareness Day.' A term I found to be absolutely moronic and idiotic.

     Now, I'm not going to lie, Valentine's Day has been considered a 'Lover's Holiday' for 700 years (starting with the Feast Day of St. Valentine in the 14th century), but it's the selfish, pitiable attitude that is held in society's frame of mind that because you're single than you have no reason to celebrate. Just lock yourself up in your room and feel sorry for yourself for 24 hrs. I don't have a problem with the holiday itself, I thinks it's always good to have a romantic holiday now and then, but what I do have a problem with is society, Christian and secular, making it a pity party day for themselves and not looking around realizing that there is more than one kind of love.

     Why is Valentine's Day a day to be thankful that you don't have 'single' on your Facebook relationship status?

      Aren't there other people in your life that are just as important, such as your parents, siblings and friends?

     How come we never spare a word about the value of friends and family who usually know you better than a boyfriend and girlfriend do?

      I help teach 1st and 2nd grade Sunday school at my church (best class in the whole church!!! I love those kids!!) and on Sunday the kids were making Valentine's cards for their family and friends. So it's all cute when they're children, but why is it a given that as soon as they hit 14 or 15, all of a sudden Valentine's Day is all about getting a boyfriend or girlfriend to show off to the world?

St. Valentine Kneeling by David Teniers III (1600s)
     If you actually read the history about St. Valentine, then up to a point he does have a great deal to do with love, he is the patron saint of young marriages, love, lovers, and happiness, but history's account of love is vastly different from our present day account of love. Valentine was born in Terni, Italy and died in 269 A.D. and according to scholars the name Valentine means worthy, strong and/or noble.  There are many legends surrounding the St.s life. 

     One of the most common was the he was a bishop who would marry young Christian couples and give aid to Christians during the tyrannical rule of the Roman Emperor Clauduis II. When Valentine was caught for aiding Christians he was thrown into jail, but the emperor was rather intrigued by the noble priest and allowed him to live. Valentine did the unthinkable and signed his death warrant when he tried to witness to the emperor. Claudius tried to get him to renounce his faith and when Valentine refused, he was beaten and eventually put to death. Nothing romantic there. 

     Another legend that is considered the "Golden Legend" was that he was in jail awaiting his execution where he gave sight to the jailer's blind daughter. On the day he was to be dragged out and killed, he left a note with the jailer's daughter signing it "From Your Valentine." That is probably where the romanticism of St. Valentine originated from. His simple act of faith restored the sight of a young pagan girl and before he died he left her a reminder of God's love and why he was dying. Yes, that was a romantic gesture, but it sure wasn't Romeo & Juliet, plus he was Catholic priest, he was forbidden to fall in love. On top of that, St. Valentine is not only the patron saint of lovers, love and marriage, but also of travelers, bee keepers, and epilepsy (yahh!).

     It wasn't until the Middle-Ages that Geoffrey Chaucer romanticized the idea of St. Valentine to remember the people that you love (maybe it was in "The Book of The Duchess," remember, it was allegorical...)* and since the 14th century been considered a lover's holiday. So yes, in all honesty it is a day to remember a special someone in your life, but in this day and age, does that mean that the special someone has to be a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse?

     The point I'm trying to make is to STOP calling Valentine's Day 'Single Awareness Day' when you really aren't single or alone at all. Not if you have a family that loves you, friends that care for you and a God that puts up with your perpetual whining regarding your self-proclaimed singleness. They themselves are just as important as a significant other and until you have a ring on your left hand, should bear more importance than someone who can leave your life just as quickly as they came into it.

*A Knight's Tale (2001) - If you haven't seen need to!!


  1. Yes and yes and yes.

    My family exchanged Valentine cards when I was a kid, we got them from my grandparents and some aunts and uncles... it was all about showing people you loved that you loved them. Not just romantic love. My dad did usually buy my mom some roses, but he also quite often bought a box of chocolates for everyone to share.

    There has only been one Valentine's Day when I felt intensely my lack of a significant other, and that was my sophomore year of college. I reeeeeeeeeeeally liked a guy, and he had an on-again-off-again girlfriend. And on Valentine's Day, I just happened to be coming down the dorm stairs while he was walking up them with a bunch of flowers in his hand, and he smiled at me. For one heart-stopping moment I thought he and the girl had broken up again and he'd actually figured out all my hints and brought me flowers. And then he said, "Hi!" and continued on past me, and I was... very sad. For about half an hour.

  2. THIS THIS THIS. I've been wondering, too, why single girls so easily fall into a trap of thinking that we're "waiting to be loved." We ARE loved, and not just on Valentine's Day! We've been blessed by a mighty God and, hopefully, with parents, siblings, friends, and extended family who love our socks off! We ought to be thankful for that and enjoy those blessings to the fullest extent instead of bemoaning our singlehood.


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