The Spirit of Valentine’s Day


cupidLove is in the air as we celebrate Valentine’s Day, but where did this holiday originate from? According to Wikipedia, “Saint Valentine, officially Saint Valentine of Rome, is a widely recognized third-century Roman saint commemorated on Feb. 14 and associated since the High Middle Ages with a tradition of courtly love.” Of course, that is why it is so special—it’s Italian! Amore!
As the legend goes, Saint Valentine of Rome 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 the story, 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.
Though this holiday is not an official holiday, it is observed by many countries and religions. The day is very special as it celebrates the romantic love we have as couples, but it has expanded to include those we love and hold close as friends, too. It is not exclusive to romantic love. This holiday is celebrated with flowers and the offering of confectionery treats as well as the sending of greeting cards. In the past, St. Valentine Keys were given to lovers “as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart.”
The spirit of Valentine’s Day is joyful and giving and should be shared with all. As we know from Corinthians, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes and always endures.”

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Elizabeth Johnson is former editor of Manhasset Press and Manhasset Press Magazine. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community Newspaper" several years in a row.


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