From Your Valentine!

Millions of people all over the world celebrate Saint Valentine''s Day each year on February 14th. I can remember as a small child creating hand-made Valentine cards to give to my mom. The teacher said it was a day to say to someone special that you love them. Back then it was just a fun day and involved a little creative artwork. Well, I read recently that around 150 million Valentine''s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine''s day the second most popular card- sending day after Christmas. Where did this day come from and why are millions of people celebrating it?
I did a little research on this special day of romance on February 14 called Valentine''s Day and how has it become such a big celebration. There are many versions of the origin of this day mostly centered around romance and love. The day is named after Saint Valentine or in Latin, Valentinus. He was a recognized third century roman saint commemorated on February 14 and was associated with courtly love.
Saint Valentine''s Day started as a celebration of the early Christian Saint named Valentinus. The most popular legend or stories tell of his imprisonment for performing weddings for soldiers that were forbidden to marry and for ministering to the early Christians who were under persecution from the Roman empire. It was told that he healed the daughter of his jailer and that before his execution on February 14 he sent her a farewell saying "from your valentine". By the 15th century, the day became associated with courtly and romantic love where lovers expressed their love by sending flowers, offering affection, and sending a greeting card known as "valentines".
When talking about St. Valentine''s Day another name immediately comes to mind, that of Cupid. In Roman mythology, Cupid, was the god of desire, love, and passion. During the Classical Greek Art period he was portrayed as a slender winged youth and during the Hellenistic period began to be portrayed as a chubby boy. During the latter period he acquired a bow and arrow that remains today as his distinguishing trait. When Cupid would should a person with his bow and arrow, they would become filled with uncontrollable desire, love, and passion. Cupids ability to compel love and desire played a role in several myths and legends. Cupid continued to be a popular figure in the Middle Ages and was even considered having a dual nature as Heavenly and Earthly love. In contemporary culture today, Cupid is shown shooting his bow and arrow to inspire love and romance as the icon of Valentine''s Day.
We still celebrate this day of love even now in 2013! As we celebrate this day all over the world, it is a day where florists are overwhelmed with orders, retail stores stock up on greeting cards, boxes of candy, and gifts. The postal service is backlogged with the delivery of greeting cards. Yes, Valentine''s Day is alive and well and fills our day with romance. Cupid is busy shooting his arrows of desire and filling us with love. As for me, I love the celebration plus as a Christian it reminds me of the unconditional love Jesus has for everyone. Jesus showed his desire for us in that while we were yet still sinners, he died on the cross for us. There are no conditions to trust in Jesus, it''s come as you are. So, as you start to think about sending that greeting card and buying the gift to share with the one you love, remember the love Jesus has for you, all the time!
Rick Cadden
Associate Pastor of Administration
Columbus Avenue Baptist Church