No matter what country or lifestyle or age, the language of love comes though the same - beautifully filled with romance (and sometimes candy, flowers and cards).
Known to many as Valentine's Day, Feb. 14th’s beginning are not as easy to come by as the languages of love are, such as out first two - Mi aime jou, Creol, and Ta gra agam ort, Gaelic. But the legends behind the start of this romantic day, some will argue, are those made of love, and lest us not forget a kindly cleric named Valentine who died more than a thousand years ago.
It is not exactly known why the 14th of February is known as Valentine’s day or if the cleric Valentine had any relation to this day. It’s hard to trace the roots to this day of love’s history from the centuries and customs it has seen but there are some legends to which we might owe some source of history to Valentine’s day.
Aloha Au Ia`oe… Hawaiian.
Ti amo… Italian.
I love you…
Our modern celebrations are said to have been derived from both ancient Christian and Roman traditions.
In one legend, the holiday was originated from the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalis/Lupercalia, a fertility celebration that used to be observed annually on February 15. But the rise of Christianity in Europe saw many pagan holidays being renamed for and dedicated to the early Christian martyrs.
Lupercalia was no exception. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius turned Lupercalia into a Christian feast day and set its observance a day earlier, on Feb. 14. He proclaimed Feb. 14 to be the feast day in honor of St. Valentine, a Roman martyr who lived in the 3rd century. It is this St. Valentine whom the modern Valentine’s Day honors and the cleric we spoke of earlier.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there were at least three early Christian saints by the name of Valentine. While one was a priest in Rome, another was a bishop in Terni. Nothing is known about the third St. Valentine except that he met his end in Africa.
Surprisingly, all three of them were said to have been martyred on Feb. 14.
Many scholars believe that this St. Valentine was a priest who lived around 270 AD in Rome and attracted the disfavor of Roman emperor Claudius II.
While the two denominations of Christianity, Protestant and Catholic, created two different versions of this story, they both agree he was a bishop who held secret marriage ceremonies. These marriages were made to soldiers in opposition to Claudius II who had prohibited marriage for young men and was the one to have Saint Valentine executed.
During Valentine’s time in the Roman Empire it was almost at it’s end and strife was everywhere. Claudiuss II believed that quality soldiers were unmarried soldiers. He issued an proclamation forbidding marriage. This a great shock for the Romans, but they did not protest against the “mighty emperor.”
Kocham Ciebie… Polish
Doo-set daaram… Persian.
Wo Ai Ni... Chinese
I love you…
The kindly bishop also saw the injustice. He saw the young lovers who were giving up hope of being united in marriage. Valentine countered the monarch’s orders in secrecy by joining many young lovers in the sacrament of matrimony. But it was only a matter of time before Claudius II came to know this "friend of lovers,” and had him arrested.
While in prison, he was approached by his jailor, Asterius, who had a blind daughter.
Asterius asked Valentine to heal her - it was said that Valentine had some saintly abilities, one of which granted him the power to heal people.
This is were the Catholic and Protestant versions are different. The Catholic legend has it that Valentine did this through the vehicle of his strong faith, a phenomenon refuted by the Protestant version, which otherwise agrees with the Catholic one.
Claudius visited The Bishop who stood his ground on the marriage issue. Then both Claudius II and Valentine tried to convert one another, Claudius to the Roman gods and the Saint to his, but this angered the emperor and he gave the order of execution on Valentine.
Te quiero / Te amo… Spanish
To female - Anh ye^u em
To male - Em ye^u anh… Vietnamese
I love you…
While all of this was going on, the daughter of Asterius and Valentine formed a strong friendship and it caused the young girl much grief to hear of her friend’s imminent death. It is said that just before his execution, Valentine asked for a pen and paper from his jailor, and signed a farewell message to her "From Your Valentine,” a phrase that lived ever after.
Valentine is believed to have been executed on Feb. 14, 270 AD.
Thus the 14th of February became a day for all lovers and Valentine became its Patron Saint. It began to be annually observed by young Romans who offered handwritten greetings of affection, known as Valentines, on this day to the women they admired. With the coming of Christianity, the day came to be known as St. Valentine’s Day.
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