Did you know that how the custom of celebrating Valentine's Day began is really a mystery? Some people believe that it started with the beheading of two martyrs of the early Christian church. There was a priest that is thought to be the one who was beheaded in A.D. 269 in Rome.
There was also a bishop who was beheaded in Interamna, 60 miles away from Rome. This also was believed to have happened at the same time.
Both martyrs were named Valentine and the beheading was to have happened on Feb. 14. The certainty of this leaves a question though because some believe that the two martyrs were actually one and the place of the beheading is not clearly documented.
Another theory associates its beginning with the British. The Romans conquered Britain in A.D. 43. The Romans celebrated the Festival of Lupercalia on Feb. 15. This was for the protection from wolves. In this festival men struck people with whips made of animal hide. There was a belief that if a woman was struck with the whip, she became fertile. Valentines Day was linked to this date because of the similar date and the link to fertility.
The idea of fertility goes along with an old English belief that on Feb. 14 the birds choose their mates for the breeding season. The birds aren't the only ones that are active on this date. This is also thought to be the key day for young lovers. Spring is a time for newness and young lovers are believed to make their commitment to each other on this day.
The idea of cards and notes was believed to have begun with one of the Christian martyrs back in A.D. 269. He was a man that was close to the children. He had made friends with them before being jailed for refusing to worship the Gods of the Romans. The children wanted to speak to him but were not allowed. They wrote messages to Valentine on scraps of paper and threw them between the window bars into his cell.
Many Valentines are sent each year. People promise to love one another for the rest of their lives. Love is expressed and dreams are made, but the words of people are not always true. People change and hearts are sometimes broken.
There is one who will never change. His love is written in the Bible. He will never let you down. He gave of his only son so that we may have our sins forgiven. He promises us that if we come to him through Jesus we will live with him for all eternity.
These words of truth God has given to all. He tells us all to go out and tell others about him and his love for us. His written word is a love note that can't be compared to any other. The death of his son Jesus and his resurrection gave us all a gift that none of us deserve.
To me, this is the ultimate Valentine. I know what real true love is. It is a gift from God to me and you.
Happy Valentine's Day. God loves you.