Wednesday, February 14, 2024

WQ - Valentine's Day

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I'm participating in the Wednesday Quotes link-up hosted by Marsha at Always Write

Happy Valentine's Day! I don't usually take Valentine's Day celebrations very seriously, but I like chocolate (preferably dark chocolate) and flowers as much as the next girl. Plus it's so sweet to see the younger couples being all romantic. 

Romance is thinking about your significant other, when you are supposed to be thinking about something else. ~Nicholas Sparks

I think of love, and you, and my heart grows full and warm, and my breath stands still... I can feel a sunshine stealing into my soul and making it all summer, and every thorn, a rose. ~Emily Dickinson

A few years ago I got curious enough about the history of Valentine's Day to do a quick research project for my homeschool blog, and I'm reusing some of that info here. How did we arrive at Valentine's as a day for giving flowers and chocolates and cute heart-shaped cards from it's beginnings as a day to remember a Christian martyr? Turns out the history may even go further back than the Christian saints named Valentine or Valentinus (there were at least three of them, and all were martyred for their faith). A pagan Roman holiday called Lupercalia was celebrated in the middle of February, and it was a fertility festival. As you can imagine, it was deemed "un-Christian" and was outlawed; and it's entirely possible that the Church made the choice to celebrate a Christian patron saint of marriage at this time of year in an effort to "Christianize" and replace Lupercalia.

Valentine's Day is all about LOVE nowadays, but it did start out as the feast day of a Christian martyr. Saint Valentine's history is intertwined with legend, but it's known that he took a stand for Christian marriage during a time when the Roman emperor forbade his soldiers to marry. One popular story says that while he was in prison, Valentine became close to his jailer's daughter (they might even have been in love!) and when he was taken away to be executed, he left her note. It was signed, "From your Valentine". 

Sweets and Hearts for Valentine's Day on Homeschool Coffee Break @  #Valentines

During the Middle Ages, young men and women would draw names to see who would be their Valentine, and the names would be pinned to their sleeve, giving rise to the expression, "wearing your heart on your sleeve".

Oh! if it be to choose and call thee mine,
Love, thou art every day my Valentine.
~Thomas Hood, "For the 14th of February"

Valentine greetings were popular during the Middle Ages, with the first written greetings appearing during the 1400s. The oldest known valentine is a poem that Charles, Duke of Orleans wrote to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415. The practice of sending cards and flowers to loved ones on Valentine's Day became popular in England during the 1700s. By the middle of the 18th century, friends and lovers of all social classes exchanged these tokens of affection. Hallmark produced the first commercially printed card in 1913, and ready-made cards made it easier for people to express emotions during a time in history when that was not often encouraged. Today, more than a billion Valentine's cards are sold each year. And many people like to create their own cards - especially kids.

That heart shape, like the box your chocolates came in, wasn't representative of love until sometime in the 13th or 14th century. At that time the heart was thought of as a book of memory, where God's commands could be written, and where thoughts of one's beloved could be written as well. During the 14th century, an Italian poem accompanied by an illustration featuring hearts and a cupid throwing arrows and roses was what started our association of those lacy hearts and cupid's arrows with romantic love. You have Richard Cadbury (yes, Cadbury's chocolate) to thank for the traditional heart-shaped box of candy. He gave chocolates in a heart-shaped box to his sweetheart in 1868, and the company began producing the boxes with hand-decorated lids.

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. ~Charles M. Schulz

The best place to learn about true love is the Bible, where we find out just how much God loves us and how he wants us to love others.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 
~I John 4:7-11~

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
~Matthew 22:37-39~

Since you have purified yourselves by your obedience to the truth, so that you show sincere brotherly love for each other, from a pure heart love one another constantly.
~I Peter 1:22~

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
~I Peter 4:8~

Happy Valentine's Day!


Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate the joy of being in love. Unless you're single & lonely then it's called Laundry Day. ~Dane Cook


This post appears first on A Fresh Cup of Coffee, with material inspired by these posts from Homeschool Coffee Break in years past.

 Sweets and Hearts for Valentine's Day on Homeschool Coffee Break @  #Valentines

Wednesday Quotes 2024 is hosted by Marsha at Always Write. The original version of this post will be linked at #WQ #160: Beliefs/Holidays/Valentine's Day Love

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Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Fascinating! Thank you for sharing this information!

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