Sunday, 14 February 2016

Valentine's Day: The Truth and the Myths

The Truth and the Myths behind Valentine's Day

On this day in history, the 14th of February, everyone goes overboard in the celebrations of Valentine's Day.
Roses are red.
The floor is red.
The walls are red.
Murder. There's been a murder.
Statistically speaking, you're more likely to be murdered by your partner on Valentine's day if you've forgotten to get her a card, present, or taken her out for a romantic meal.

If you haven't even noticed she had her hair done, or bought a new dress, or nice thong, then your chances of survival dwindle to about 6 percent.

Check out our special Valentine's Day blog post:

We celebrate Valentine's day because of a Saint called, well, I'd like to say Valentine, but his true name was Valentinus.
Valentinus was a 3rd-century saint, who died around 270AD, of Roman descent and is most famed for being a nymphomaniac.

Saint Valentine was martyred and buried in a
cemetery on the Via Flaminia, north of Rome.
In reality, we don't know much about Valentinus, or Valentine, but there is a good chance he is two people. Or three. No one knows for sure. He could just all be the same person using slightly different hairstyles to pork as many men and women as he could. As I say, no one really knows. However, just for the record -- Dirty boy.
The Roman Catholic Church does recognise a St Valentine as a real person who died in or about, give or take twenty years, 270 AD.
It isn't until the 1400s we start to get stories about St Valentine. They refer to a temple priest beheaded outside Rome by the Emperor Claudius II after he started conducting marriage ceremonies on Christian couples. With their knowledge. He didn't drug them, or knock them over the head with a plank of wood, before forcibly marrying them. Although he did videotape them having coital fun on their wedding night.

Because of the confusion about St Valentine's true identity (no, he's not Batman),
the Catholic Church stopped their liturgical veneration of him back in 1969.
His name does, however, remain on the Catholic Church's list of saints.
The Valentine, or Valentinus, we celebrate today on February 14th is officially known as St Valentine of Rome. There are actually about a dozen Valentinus/Valentines listed on the Catholic list of saints.
In 1988, Pope John Paul George and Ringo, or Pope John Paul II, canonised St Valentine Berrio-Ochoa, who was beheaded in 1861 in Vietnam.
They eventually retrieved Valentine Berios-Ochoa's head, sewed it back onto his rotting corpse and Pope John Paul II shot him out of canon. That is how they canonise saints, right?

Fun Fact:
There was a Pope Valentine in 827 AD, who served as Pope for just 40 days.
St Valentine isn't just the patron saint for happy marriages, couples, and nymphomaniacs. He is also the saint for epilepsy, beekeeping, the plague (I'm guessing he's against it), traveling and fainting. Not farting, which is what I mistakenly wrote the first time round.
But, where did Valentine's Day originate?
Before Geoffrey Chaucer wrote about it in 1375, there were no records for romantic celebrations on February 14th.
For this was sent on Saint Valentine's Day.
When every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.

Chaucer, in his poem, linked the celebration of the feast day of St Valentine to lovers hooking up. So, now we know who to blame for having to show affection to our partners one day of the year.

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