St Valentine’s Day: What’s love got to do, got to do with it?

Events took a Tina Turner for the worst for poor old Valentine!

Here we are fast approaching what is now (commercially and ridiculously) the most romantic day of the year with lovers everywhere buying cards, flowers, champagne, chocolates and booking romantic, candlelit dinners in swanky restaurants. When did it all get so crazy? Why do we even have St Valentine’s Day? Well, in short, he was a good fella with a big heart, who unfortunately met a rather grisly end.

St ValentineAround 270 AD, Valentine was a holy priest of Rome under the rule of Claudius the Cruel; the clue is in the title. Responsible for many torturous and bloody campaigns, Claudius was becoming increasingly intolerant of men not enlisting in his army because of their strong and loving bonds with their wives and families. So, Claudius decided to ban all engagements and marriages in Rome with immediate effect, but super-hero Valentine, knowing that this was so unjust and against God’s word, carried out marriage ceremonies in secret for young lovers, defying Claudius, but his kind- hearted actions were soon to be uncovered, and Claudius ordered Valentine’s execution.

He was arrested and brought before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and beheaded; he was then imprisoned to await his fate. Whilst waiting for his brutal end to come, Valentine befriended the jailer’s daughter and on his day of execution, he left her a farewell note, simply signed “From Your Valentine”.

His sentence was carried out on February 14; he was recognised by the church for his great service to god and was sainted shortly after his death; hence, Saint Valentine.

It was centuries later and courtesy of English poet Mr Geoffrey Chaucer, that we saw romance blossom again on St Valentine’s Day in his (very long) poem Parliament of Fowls, as the day that birds (and people) find a mate. This was the beginning of many a romantic poem scribed and given to loved ones on February the 14th.

So, please spare a thought for St Valentine this year and always. Without him, the world would be a less romantic place.

If you’re looking for a Valentine’s poem for your loved one this year, get in contact with Wendy Jennings Creative today, who can create something uniquely personalised for you.