Cupid is stupid, but St. Valentine is real

On Valentine’s Day, some people get special treatment. Some get nothing at all. Then, there are those who choose to entirely ignore this holiday of love. Attitudes toward Valentine’s Day will always vary among people. You can choose to believe in the Roman tradition of romance, or you can believe that the holiday was made to profit card and candy companies. No matter what your opinion of Valentine’s Day is, you can’t deny the history of the holiday. The complete background of the Roman tradition will always be a mystery, but at least part of it is known. During the third century in Rome, Emperor Claudius II had the idea that single men made the best soldiers, since they would be freed from all the conflicting emotions of a family. The emperor outlawed marriage for young men in the hopes of making his army stronger. When St. Valentine, a priest, heard of this, he was appalled. He continued to marry young lovers, but in secret. When his actions were discovered, he was immediately sent to jail. While St. Valentine was in jail, the jailor’s daughter came to visit him as often as she could. They soon fell in love, despite the horrible conditions. Before he was sent to death, he wrote her a love letter and signed it “From your Valentine.” This was the first valentine in history. On Feb. 14, A.D. 269, St. Valentine was killed for believing in true love and helping people believe in it. In A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius made Feb. 14 a holiday to honor St. Valentine. To this day, we give valentines to others to let them know we care. In kindergarten, you look forward to receiving candy and notes from your friends. You get a little older and start setting aside special valentines for special people. Eventually, you hope to get a valentine from that special person. When you reach high school, you have to decide if you should take that chance and send a Crush can to that one special person. Finally, you reach a point when you must decide if you should celebrate the holiday at all. St. Valentine believed in true love, both that of his own and that of others. His belief didn’t fade with time, and he didn’t give up on love even when he was sent to jail. As time passed, his faith in love only grew stronger. This Valentine’s Day, think of St. Valentine and what he did to protect love. Don’t let your anticipation of the holiday fade with time. Remember the days of elementary school valentines, and remember to live up to St. Valentine’s example by never losing your faith in love.