Yes, 278. That’s the year St. Valentine was beheaded; he was Christian and Christianity wasn’t legal until Constantine signed the Edict of Milan in 313. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, St. Valentine performed Christian marriage ceremonies and was imprisoned . . . and then Hallmark turned Valentine’s Day into a holiday.
Even before I had a Valentine, I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. When I lived at home, my mum would prepare these Valentine’s Day goody bags for us and leave them about places a the kitchen table. We used to take the candy to school for days. It made Valentine’s Day a day about saying “I love you” to anyone and everyone, which was a very important lesson.
At work today, many of my students complained about feeling lonely and unloved. I asked, “You love people, don’t you? And they love you, right?” For the most part, they smiled.
And that’s what’s important. Valentine’s Day isn’t about chocolate or flowers, though those are nice. It’s about family and friends and reminding those around us that they are loved.
Admittedly, I do have a Valentine. He left me a beautiful surprise on my porch this morning, and I’d like to share it with you. Happy Valentine’s Day!