Valentine’s Day Origin

In Ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno, queen of the Roman gods and goddesses. The Feast of Lupercalia started the next day.

During these times, boys and girls were segregated. However, the young people had a custom that began on the eve of the Festival of Lupercalia. The girls’ names were written on pieces of paper and inserted into jars. Each boy then drew a girl’s name from the jar and they were partners throughout the festival. After being paired, the children would often continue to see each other throughout the year and on occasion even fell in love and got married.

Emperor Claudius II of Rome, also known as Claudius the Cruel, was having a difficult time recruiting men as soldiers. He believed that the men did not want to leave their sweethearts and he cancelled all engagements and marriages throughout Rome.

But St. Valentine, a priest of Rome at the time, secretly married couples. He was eventually caught, arrested and condemned. Executed on February 14th around the year 270, he was later celebrated as the patron saint of love.

Here’s a favourite Valentine’s Day story of mine.

Chad was a quiet little fellow and was often seen by his mother walking home from school behind the other kids. While the kids played and laughed along the way, Chad walked alone.

Valentine’s Day was approaching and he said to his mom, “I want to make a Valentine’s Day card for everyone in my class.” She wished he hadn’t said that because she suspected he wouldn’t get many cards himself, and in actual fact, she didn’t think he would get any.

She bought the crayons, the coloured paper, the glue and scissors and painstakingly made 35 Valentine’s Day cards with Chad. It took the whole evening, and on completion they put them in a paper bag and Chad went to bed.

The next morning – Valentine’s Day, Chad bounded out of bed, quickly got dressed, picked up the paper bag of Valentine’s Day cards, and then running out the front door told his mom he’d see her after school. He was definitely excited.

His mom went back into the house and thought she had better prepare some of his favourite cookies because when he came home after school that afternoon, she knew Chad would be upset.

Looking out her kitchen window at about 3:15 p.m., she saw the kids laughing and joking as always walking to their homes and Chad was in the rear – alone as always.

As he came in the front door, she said, “Mommy has some milk and cookies for you.” He walked right by her, not saying anything and then simply said, “Not a one – not even one.” His mother gulped, held back tears and then Chad added, “I didn’t forget one.”

This Valentine’s Day, is there anyone to whom you want to say, I love you, you’re important to me, you helped make my day, you’re of value, you’re a key part of the team, you bring joy to my life, I appreciate you… thank you. I think you get the picture.

Don’t forget a single one – not even one.