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Friday, February 13, 2015

VALENTINE'S DAY 2015

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone. Enjoy it. But ‪#‎Uganda‬, do not get carried away. I only have one man in my life and he knows it. Please read up on Valentine. The source is Wikipedia, a free global encyclopedia. Consider becoming an editor or contributor or both. I am a wiki editor and contributor in writing and financial support. A free encyclopedia only exits if we all contribute.
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This article is about the liturgical celebration and romantic holiday.
Valentine's Day, also known as Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine,[1] is a holiday observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it is not a holiday in most of them.
St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies.[2] A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell.[3] Today, Saint Valentine's Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion,[4] as well as in the Lutheran Church.[5] The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates Saint Valentine's Day, albeit on July 6 and July 30, the former date in honor of the Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and the latter date in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni). In Brazil, the Dia de São Valentim is recognized on June 12.
The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). In Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart", as well as to children, in order to ward off Saint Valentine's Malady.[6] Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.[7]
Shrine of St. Valentine in Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland
Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine.[8] The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae).[9] Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 496 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. The relics of Saint Valentine were kept in the Church and Catacombs of San Valentino in Rome, which "remained an important pilgrim site throughout the Middle Ages until the relics of St. Valentine were transferred to the church of Santa Prassede during the pontificate of Nicholas IV".[10][11] The flower-crowned skull of Saint Valentine is exhibited in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. Other relics are found at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.[12] Valentine of Terni became bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) about AD 197 and is said to have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian. He is also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location than Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni (Basilica di San Valentino). Jack B. Oruch states that "abstracts of the acts of the two saints were in nearly every church and monastery of Europe."[13] The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under date of February 14. He was martyred in Africa with a number of companions, but nothing more is known about him.[14] Saint Valentine's head was preserved in the abbey of New Minster, Winchester, and venerated.[15]
February 14 is celebrated as St. Valentine's Day in various Christian denominations; it has, for example, the rank of 'commemoration' in the calendar of saints in the Anglican Communion.[4] In addition, the feast day of Saint Valentine is also given in the calendar of saints of the Lutheran Church.[5] However, in the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints, the feast day of Saint Valentine on February 14 was removed from the General Roman Calendar and relegated to particular (local or even national) calendars for the following reason: "Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14."[16] The feast day is still celebrated in Balzan (Malta) where relics of the saint are claimed to be found, and also throughout the world by Traditionalist Catholics who follow the older, pre-Second Vatican Council calendar. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, St. Valentine's Day is celebrated on July 6, in which Saint Valentine, the Roman presbyter, is honoured; furthermore, the Eastern Orthodox Church obsesrves the feast of Hieromartyr Valentine, Bishop of Interamna, on July 30.[17][18][19]
Legends
St Valentine baptizing St Lucilla, Jacopo Bassano
J.C. Cooper, in The Dictionary of Christianity, writes that Saint Valentine was "a priest of Rome who was imprisoned for succouring persecuted Christians."[20] Contemporary records of Saint Valentine were most probably destroyed during this Diocletianic Persecution in the early 4th century.[21] In the 5th or 6th century, a work called Passio Marii et Marthae published a story of martyrdom for Saint Valentine of Rome, perhaps by borrowing tortures that happened to other saints, as was usual in the literature of that period. The same events are also found in Bede's Martyrology, which was compiled in the 8th century.[21][22] It states that Saint Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed. Before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing Julia, the blind daughter of his jailer Asterius. The jailer's daughter and his forty-four member household (family members and servants) came to believe in Jesus and were baptized.[21] A later Passio repeated the legend, adding that Pope Julius I built a church over his sepulchre (it is a confusion with a 4th-century tribune called Valentino who donated land to build a church at a time when Julius was a Pope).[22] The legend was picked up as fact by later martyrologies, starting by Bede's martyrology in the 8th century.[22] It was repeated in the 13th century, in Legenda Aurea.[23] The book expounded briefly the Early Medieval acta of several Saint Valentines, and this legend was assigned to the Valentine under February 14.
There is an additional embellishment to The Golden Legend, which according to Henry Ansgar Kelly, was added centuries later, and widely repeated.[3] On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he would have written the first "valentine" card himself, addressed to the daughter of his jailer Asterius, who was no longer blind, signing as "Your Valentine."[3] The expression "From your Valentine" was later adopted by modern Valentine letters.[24] This legend has been published by both American Greetings and The History Channel.
Saint Valentine of Terni and his disciples
John Foxe, an English historian, as well as the Order of Carmelites, state that Saint Valentine was buried in the Church of Praxedes in Rome, located near the cemetery of Saint Hippolytus. This order says that according to legend, "Julia herself planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave. Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship."[25][26]
Another embellishment is that Saint Valentine would have performed clandestine Christian weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry.[27] The Roman Emperor Claudius II supposedly forbade this in order to grow his army, believing that married men did not make for good soldiers.[27][28] However, this supposed marriage ban was never issued, and in fact Claudius II told his soldiers to take two or three women for themselves after his victory over the Goths.[29]
According to legend, in order "to remind these men of their vows and God’s love, Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment", giving them to these soldiers and persecuted Christians, a possible origin of the widespread use of hearts on St. Valentine's Day.[30]
Saint Valentine supposedly wore a purple amethyst ring, customarily worn on the hands of Christian bishops with an image of Cupid engraved in it, a recognizable symbol associated with love that was legal under the Roman Empire;[28][31] Roman soldiers would recognize the ring and ask him to perform marriage for them.[28] Probably due to the association with Saint Valentine, amethyst has become the birthstone of February, which is thought to attract love.[32]
Folk traditions
While the European folk traditions connected with Saint Valentine and St. Valentine's Day have become marginalized by the modern Anglo-American customs connecting the day with romantic love, there are some remaining associations connecting the saint with the advent of spring.
While the custom of sending cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts originated in the UK, Valentine's Day still remains connected with various regional customs in England. In Norfolk, a character called 'Jack' Valentine knocks on the rear door of houses leaving sweets and presents for children. Although he was leaving treats, many children were scared of this mystical person.[33][34]
In Slovenia, Saint Valentine or Zdravko was one of the saints of spring, the saint of good health and the patron of beekeepers and pilgrims.[35] A proverb says that "Saint Valentine brings the keys of roots". Plants and flowers start to grow on this day. It has been celebrated as the day when the first work in the vineyards and in the fields commences. It is also said that birds propose to each other or marry on that day. Another proverb says "Valentin – prvi spomladin" ("Valentine — the first spring saint"), as in some places (especially White Carniola), Saint Valentine marks the beginning of spring.[36] Valentine's Day has only recently been celebrated as the day of love. The day of love was traditionally March 12, the Saint Gregory's day, or February 22, Saint Vincent's Day. The patron of love was Saint Anthony, whose day has been celebrated on June 13.[35]
Connection with romantic love
Lupercalia
Main article: Lupercalia
There is no evidence of any link between St. Valentine's Day and the rites of the ancient Roman festival, despite many claims by many authors.[15][37][notes 1] The celebration of Saint Valentine did not have any romantic connotations until Chaucer's poetry about "Valentines" in the 14th century.[21]
Popular modern sources claim links to unspecified Greco-Roman February holidays alleged to be devoted to fertility and love to St. Valentine's Day, but prior to Chaucer in the 14th century, there were no links between the Saints named Valentinus and romantic love.[21] Earlier links as described above were focused on sacrifice rather than romantic love. In the ancient Athenian calendar the period between mid-January and mid-February was the month of Gamelion, dedicated to the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera.
In Ancient Rome, Lupercalia, observed February 13–15, was an archaic rite connected to fertility. Lupercalia was a festival local to the city of Rome. The more general Festival of Juno Februa, meaning "Juno the purifier "or "the chaste Juno", was celebrated on February 13–14. Pope Gelasius I (492–496) abolished Lupercalia. Some researchers have theorized that Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with the celebration of the Purification of Mary in February 14 and claim a connection to the 14th century's connotations of romantic love, but there is no historical indication that he ever intended such a thing.[notes 2][38] Also, the dates don't fit because at the time of Gelasius I the feast was only celebrated in Jerusalem, and it was on February 14 only because Jerusalem placed the Nativity on January 6.[notes 3] Although it was called "Purification of Mary", it dealt mainly with the presentation of Jesus at the temple.[39] The Jerusalem's Purification of Mary on February 14 became the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple on February 2 as it was introduced to Rome and other places in the sixth century, after Gelasius I's time.[39]
Alban Butler in his Lifes of the Principal Saints (1756–1759) claimed without proof that men and women in Lupercalia drew names from a jar to make couples, and that modern Valentine's letters originated from this custom. In reality, this practice originated in the Middle Ages, with no link to Lupercalia, with men drawing the names of girls at random to couple with them. This custom was combated by priests, for example by Frances de Sales around 1600, apparently by replacing it with a religious custom of girls drawing the names of apostles from the altar. However, this religious custom is recorded as soon as the 13th century in the life of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, so it could have a different origin.[15]
Geoffrey Chaucer by Thomas Hoccleve (1412)
Chaucer's love birds
Jack B. Oruch writes that the first recorded association of Valentine's Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer.[21] Chaucer wrote:
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
["For this was on St. Valentine's Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate."]
This poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia.[40] A treaty providing for a marriage was signed on May 2, 1381.[41] (When they were married eight months later, they were each only 15 years old).
Readers have uncritically assumed that Chaucer was referring to February 14 as Valentine's Day; however, mid-February is an unlikely time for birds to be mating in England. Henry Ansgar Kelly has pointed out that Chaucer could be referring to May 3, the celebration in the liturgical calendar of Valentine of Genoa, an early bishop of Genoa who died around AD 307.[40][42][43] Jack B. Oruch says that date for the start of Spring has changed since Chaucer's time because of the precession of equinoxes and the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582. The date would correspond to the modern 23 February, a time when some birds have started mating and nesting in England.[21]
Chaucer's Parliament of Foules is set in a fictional context of an old tradition, but in fact there was no such tradition before Chaucer. The speculative explanation of sentimental customs, posing as historical fact, had their origins among 18th-century antiquaries, notably Alban Butler, the author of Butler's Lives of Saints, and have been perpetuated even by respectable modern scholars. Most notably, "the idea that Valentine's Day customs perpetuated those of the Roman Lupercalia has been accepted uncritically and repeated, in various forms, up to the present".[15][44]
There were three other authors who made poems about birds mating in St. Valentine's Day around the same years: Otton de Grandson from Savoy, John Gower from England, and a knight called Pardo from Valencia. Chaucer most probably predated all of them, but, due to the difficulty of dating medieval works, it is not possible to ascertain who of the four had the idea first and influenced the others.[45]
Court of love
The earliest description of February 14 as an annual celebration of love appears in the Charter of the Court of Love. The charter, allegedly issued by Charles VI of France at Mantes-la-Jolie in 1400, describes lavish festivities to be attended by several members of the royal court, including a feast, amorous song and poetry competitions, jousting and dancing.[46] Amid these festivities, the attending ladies would hear and rule on disputes from lovers.[47] No other record of the court exists, and none of those named in the charter were present at Mantes except Charles's queen, Isabeau of Bavaria, who may well have imagined it all while waiting out a plague.[46]
Valentine poetry
The earliest surviving valentine is a 15th-century rondeau written by Charles, Duke of Orléans to his wife, which commences.
Je suis desja d'amour tanné
Ma tres doulce Valentinée...
—Charles d'Orléans, Rondeau VI, lines 1–2[48]
At the time, the duke was being held in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt, 1415.[49]
The earliest surviving valentines in English appear to be those in the Paston Letters, written in 1477 by Margery Brewes to her future husband John Paston "my right well-beloved Valentine".[50]
Valentine's Day is mentioned ruefully by Ophelia in Hamlet (1600–1601):
To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
And dupp'd the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.
—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5
John Donne used the legend of the marriage of the birds as the starting point for his epithalamion celebrating the marriage of Elizabeth, daughter of James I of England, and Frederick V, Elector Palatine, on Valentine's Day:
Hayle Bishop Valentine whose day this is
All the Ayre is thy Diocese
And all the chirping Queristers
And other birds ar thy parishioners
Thou marryest every yeare
The Lyrick Lark, and the graue whispering Doue,
The Sparrow that neglects his life for loue,
The houshold bird with the redd stomacher
Thou makst the Blackbird speede as soone,
As doth the Goldfinch, or the Halcyon
The Husband Cock lookes out and soone is spedd
And meets his wife, which brings her feather-bed.
This day more cheerfully than ever shine
This day which might inflame thy selfe old Valentine.
—John Donne, Epithalamion Vpon Frederick Count Palatine and the Lady Elizabeth marryed on St. Valentines day
The verse Roses are red echoes conventions traceable as far back as Edmund Spenser's epic The Faerie Queene (1590):
She bath'd with roses red, and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.[51]
The modern cliché Valentine's Day poem can be found in the collection of English nursery rhymes Gammer Gurton's Garland (1784):
The rose is red, the violet's blue,
The honey's sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou'd be you.[52][53]
Modern times
Valentine's Day postcard, circa 1910
In 1797, a British publisher issued The Young Man's Valentine Writer, which contained scores of suggested sentimental verses for the young lover unable to compose his own. Printers had already begun producing a limited number of cards with verses and sketches, called "mechanical valentines," and a reduction in postal rates in the next century ushered in the less personal but easier practice of mailing Valentines. That, in turn, made it possible for the first time to exchange cards anonymously, which is taken as the reason for the sudden appearance of racy verse in an era otherwise prudishly Victorian.[54]
Paper Valentines became so popular in England in the early 19th century that they were assembled in factories. Fancy Valentines were made with real lace and ribbons, with paper lace introduced in the mid-19th century.[55] In 1835, 60,000 Valentine cards were sent by post in Britain, despite postage being expensive.[56] The Laura Seddon Greeting Card Collection at Manchester Metropolitan University gathers 450 Valentine's Day cards dating from the early nineteenth century, printed by the major publishers of the day.[57] The collection is cataloged in Laura Seddon's book Victorian Valentines (1996).[58]
Child dressed in Valentine's Day-themed clothing.
In the United States, the first mass-produced valentines of embossed paper lace were produced and sold shortly after 1847 by Esther Howland (1828–1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts.[59][60] Her father operated a large book and stationery store, but Howland took her inspiration from an English Valentine she had received from a business associate of her father.[61][62] Intrigued with the idea of making similar Valentines, Howland began her business by importing paper lace and floral decorations from England.[62][63] A writer in Graham's American Monthly observed in 1849, "Saint Valentine's Day ... is becoming, nay it has become, a national holyday."[64] The English practice of sending Valentine's cards was established enough to feature as a plot device in Elizabeth Gaskell's Mr. Harrison's Confessions (1851): "I burst in with my explanations: 'The valentine I know nothing about.' 'It is in your handwriting', said he coldly."[65] Since 2001, the Greeting Card Association has been giving an annual "Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary".[60]
Valentines candy
Since the 19th century, handwritten notes have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.[7] In the UK, just under half of the population spend money on their Valentines and around £1.3 billion is spent yearly on cards, flowers, chocolates and other gifts, with an estimated 25 million cards being sent.[66] The mid-19th century Valentine's Day trade was a harbinger of further commercialized holidays in the United States to follow.[67]
Valentine's Day red roses
In the second half of the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to all manner of gifts. Such gifts typically include roses and chocolates packed in a red satin, heart-shaped box. In the 1980s, the diamond industry began to promote Valentine's Day as an occasion for giving jewelry.
The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately 190 million valentines are sent each year in the US. Half of those valentines are given to family members other than husband or wife, usually to children. When the valentine-exchange cards made in school activities are included the figure goes up to 1 billion, and teachers become the people receiving the most valentines.[59] The average valentine’s spending has increased every year in the U.S, from $108 a person in 2010 to $131 in 2013.[68]
The rise of Internet popularity at the turn of the millennium is creating new traditions. Millions of people use, every year, digital means of creating and sending Valentine's Day greeting messages such as e-cards, love coupons or printable greeting cards. An estimated 15 million e-valentines were sent in 2010.[59] Valentine's Day is considered by some to be a Hallmark holiday due to its commercialization.[69]
In the modern era, liturgically, the Anglican Church has a service for St. Valentine's Day (the Feast of St. Valentine), which includes the optional rite of the renewal of marriage vows.[70]
Antique and vintage Valentine cards, 1850–1950
Valentines of the mid-19th and early 20th centuries
Esther Howland Valentine, circa 1850: "Weddings now are all the go, Will you marry me or no"?
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