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It’s Another Valentine’s Day: Will “HE” Remember You?

February 11, 2011

As many of us are gearing for the upcoming Valentine’s Day craze, I am sure many of us are planning to use this weekend as the weekend to kick it off into high gear.

If you’re planning to step out this weekend with the one you love, have you taken into consideration what you’re going to wear?  Has he taken into consideration what would be the perfect gift for you?  Are you going to buy him what would be considered the ideal gift?  Or better yet, will he even remember to think of you on Valentine’s Day?  Is he worthy of you thinking of him on this blessed day because of past experiences? 

It’s supposed to be a day of love and magic, when lovers come together and spend the day in each other’s presence.  At least that’s what it’s supposed to be about.

With Valentine’s Day being as commercial as it is, we tend to forget the origin behind the day.  So I thought before I go on about where I think Valentine’s Day has lost its true meaning, I thought I’d give a very brief history lesson on the day itself.

The name “Valentine” is comes from valens, which means strong, powerful, worth.  It was most popular in late Antiquity.   On Wikipedia it says that of the Saint Valentine whose feast is on February 14, nothing is known except his name and that he was buried at the Via Flaminia north of Rome on February 14. It is even uncertain whether the feast of that day celebrates only one saint or more saints of the same name. For this reason this liturgical commemoration was not kept in the Catholic calendar of saints for universal liturgical veneration as revised in 1969.

The official Roman Martyrology for February 14 mentions only one Saint Valentine.


Saint Valentine of Terni oversees the construction of his basilica at Terni, from a 14th century French manuscript (BN, Mss fr. 185)

English eighteenth-century antiquarians Alban Butler and Francis Douce, noting the obscurity of Saint Valentine’s identity, suggested that Valentine’s Day was created as an attempt to supersede the pagan holiday of Lupercalia. This idea has lately been contested by Professor Jack Oruch of the University of Kansas. Many of the current legends that characterise Saint Valentine were invented in the fourteenth century in England, notably by Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle, when the feast day of February 14 first became associated with romantic love.[11]

While a website of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and other sources give different lists of Saint Valentines, the Catholic Church’s official list of recognized saints, the Roman Martyrology lists seven: a martyr (Roman priest or Terni bishop?) buried on the Via Flaminia (February 14); a priest from Viterbo (November 3); a bishop from Raetia who died in about 450 (January 7); a fifth-century priest and hermit (July 4); a Spanish hermit who died in about 715 (October 25)HI Rachel Garde ; Valentine Berrio Ochoa, martyred in 1861 (November 24); and Valentine Jaunzarás Gómez, martyred in 1936 (September 18).[12] 

You can go to Wikipedia or other web sites to read more about the history of Valentine’s Day.

Ok, so now that we’ve a brief history lesson of the origin of Valentine’s Day, I thought it important enough to put it out there so as to have some understanding as to how it was formed to be created aside from what we know it to be today.

Today we celebrate Valentine’s Day with spending money on gifts, attending parties and other events solely dedicated to Valentine’s Day, we purchase clothing to wear for that special date, and flowers and candy are still at the top of the list of most purchased items to buy for that special person on Valentine’s Day.

I see Valentine’s Day as being a day that has widely stepped outside of the norm of what I remember it being back in my early 20’s.  A box of candy, flowers, and dinner at a swanky restaurant was how I used to spend each Valentine’s Day.  Today, I’m lucky if I get an email or a piece of candy.  Today, I find myself usually buying my own Valentine’s Day gift, going out to a nightclub, and having some random stranger leave a rose where I was sitting if I’m on the dance floor.  Where’s the romance?

A common mistake that some men make is that they miss the point of why Valentine’s Day is so important to us.  They tend to think, “why do I need to buy you a gift just to show you how much I love you?”  Of course we know they love us, but because Valentine’s Day has gotten to be so commercial that many of us women have long sense stood behind the belief that receiving a gift on this day signifies true feelings otherwise we take on this “are you kidding me” attitude.  It’s bad to feel humiliate because your daughter’s boyfriend does way more for your daughter (she got candy, a Build-a-Bear teddy bear, roses, and that was on a Saturday.  The day before she got candy, bears, cards from other friends), and they’re in high school.  What did I get?  He forgot or something like that.  Ladies, don’t let this happen to you on Valentine’s Day.

So, I’ve asked the questions, “What does he have planned for you this Valentine’s Day,” “What did he do for you last Valentine’s Day,” and “What was your most rememberable Valentine’s Day (best and worse)?”  I’d be interested to know how others spend this day.  Most likely I’ll either be in front of the television, eating popcorn, or I’ll be out at some nightclub.  Who knows?

Frankly, I think some of us older adults need to watch the younger adults to see their new take on Valentine’s Day, how they celebrate, the means they go through to show someone how much that person means to them.  We can truly learn from them and remember what it was the men used to do for the ladies and the meaning of true love as identified in the show and giving.

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