Gelasius I (492-496), the third of the Popes historically acknowledged
as being Black or African established Saint Valentine Day for several of the martyrs named Valentine. History has long obscured
which one was the origin of this Roman Catholic observance. (Note: The other Black Popes were Miltiades (311- 314) and
Victor I (186-197) who was the first Pope to speak Latin, defined Easter as the first Sunday after the first full moon of
the vernal equinox and ascended to the papacy during the reign of Roman Emperor Septimus Severus, who was
also African.) Saint Valentine Day has transmogrified into a secular celebration with mostly romantic connotations in
many countries. A noteworthy exception being hometown Chicagoan Al Capone, who used February 14th 1929 to avenge
the machine gunning of his Southside headquarters by the Northside Bugs Moran gang. While Scarface Al was vacationing in Miami,
a six man gangster task force disguised as policemen murdered six members and associates of Bugs and a gangster wannabe groupie
in a north side garage. Their escape was concealed by two of the shooters still in police uniforms with guns drawn “marching”
the other four now wearing trenchcoats over their police garb into awaiting cars and driving off into folklore oblivion.
According to an early legend, Saint Valentine was persecuted as a
Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II. Valentine impressed Claudius to the extent that he was offered an
opportunity to convert to Roman paganism in order to spare his life. Valentine refused and tried instead and in vain to convert
Claudius II to Christianity. He was executed, but before his execution, he reportedly performed a miracle by healing the blind
daughter of his jailer. The legend is further expanded by linking Valentine with sentimental love. Wherein Valentine was the
priest who refused an unattested law attributed to Roman Emperor Claudius II, allegedly ordering that young men remain single.
The Emperor supposedly did this to replenish his army, believing that married men were less than ideal soldiers. The priest
Valentine, however, secretly performed marriage ceremonies for young men. Claudius when discovering this transgression had
Valentine jailed where he performed this miracle of healing the blind girl.
is an additional modern embellishment to the so-called “Golden Legend”, provided by American Greetings Card and
widely circulated despite having no historical basis. On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he would have written
the first "Valentine" card himself, addressed to the young girl identified as his beloved as
the jailer's daughter whom he had befriended and healed. It was a note that supposedly read "From your Valentine."
The first recorded association of Valentine's Day with romantic love
is in Parliament of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer: “For this was on Saint Valentine Day when every bird comes to
choose his mate ---- (translated from old English)”
poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. A treaty
providing for a marriage was signed on May 2nd 1381. When they were married eight months later, they were each
only 15 years old. Although the assumption that Chaucer was referring to February 14th as Valentine's Day; however,
mid-February is an unlikely time for birds to be mating in England. May 2nd is the Saints' Day for Valentine of
Genoa. Also, it is highly unlikely that anyone named Richard (King or otherwise) would be getting married at age 15.
Brazil because of Carnaval does not celebrate Valentines’ Day
until June 2. It is called “Boyfriend, Girlfriend Day”. Don’t try that in the US or the current blizzards
and chill will last longer than the groundhog prediction of six more weeks.
and flowers have been associated with Valentine Day almost universally. Roses are the flowers of choice in the USA, although
carnations are more internationally known as the “flower of romance”. Order your flowers now
because on Monday the prices will soar. Flowers usually last about a week. Some ways to extend the life of flowers is to cut
them on a 45 degree angle at the bottom tips of the stems and insert an aspirin into the water in the vase. Non-diet Seven-Up
added to the water also will extend the life as well; the beverage should be flat, i.e. letting it stand in a glass, unrefrigerated
overnight before adding.
Valentine's Day is also mentioned by Ophelia in William Shakespeare’s
is Saint Valentine's day,
in the morning betime,
And I a
maid at your window,
To be your
Then up he rose, and
donn'd his clothes,
the chamber door;
Let in the maid,
that out a maid
Never departed more.