Nowadays, the premise of Valentine’s Day is simple to understand: Feb. 14 is a time to show appreciation for friends, families, significant others and anyone else you might love. Pinpointing the story of its namesake Saint Valentine, however, is more difficult.
There are multiple legends of Saint Valentine, and different reliquaries in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England and France all claim to have bones attributed to a Saint Valentine.
While Catholics believe that Feb. 14 commemorates the martyrdom of Saint Valentine, who was a Roman priest beheaded in the third century, no one can agree on exactly what he did or why he was executed. Some legends say Valentine was a bishop in Terni, Italy, who healed the sick, including the blind daughter of a prison guard whom he met while in jail for practicing Christianity in a pagan world. Some say he was sentenced to death because he tried to convert Emperor Claudius to Christianity. Others say the sentence came because he was caught secretly performing weddings, defying a ban on marriage that had been imposed by the Emperor as a solution to a military recruitment crunch.
The feast day’s earliest associations with love and fertility may have been inherited from the pagan festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated by the ancient Romans between Feb. 13 and Feb. 15. A matchmaking lottery would pair men and women up for the duration of the festival, and the men would slap women with the hides of goats and dogs they had sacrificed, which was thought to make the women fertile, historian Noel Lenski has told NPR. It’s thought that Pope Gelasius I established the feast of Saint Valentine in the fifth century to “Christianize” the festival.
But Saint Valentine’s feast day didn’t used to be a big to-do — which should please those who think too much is being made of it now.
“Valentine was not one of the more important saints venerated by medieval people — nor was his feast one of the 40 to 50 festa ferianda, or celebratory festivals, which required people to abstain from work in order to fast and attend mass,” Sarah Peverley, a professor of English at the University of Liverpool, explained in a piece for The Conversation. Plus, the holiday fell right in the middle of a run of much bigger holidays, such as Candlemas on Feb. 2, as well as the carnivals leading up to the Shrove Tuesday and the beginning of the Lenten fast season, which often fall around the same time. (Valentine’s Day in 2018, for example, is the same day as Ash Wednesday.)
That began to change in the Middle Ages. It’s believed to be around that time, as notions of courtly love gained influence in Europe, that some celebrants found a more cheerful way of explaining why Saint Valentine’s feast day should be a time to think about romance. Poets, most famously Geoffrey Chaucer in his 14th-century “Parliament of Fowls,” were the ones who put it together that the day fell right around the time of year when birds would sing their mating songs to get ready for the spring. He wrote, per one translation, “For this was on Saint Valentine’s day / When every bird cometh there to chose his mate.” A February 1477 letter in which Margery Brews of Norfolk, England, called her fiancé John Paston “my right well-beloved valentine” is considered the oldest known Valentine written in English (and is now housed at the British Library).
Such romantic phrases and images started appearing on greeting cards once the industrial revolution in the mid-19th century enabled the production of mass quantities of affordable consumer goods. Cadbury’s heart-shaped boxes of chocolates appeared in the 1860s, Hershey’s Kisses in 1907, and Hallmark Valentine’s Day cards in 1913 — all of which have remained Valentine’s Day traditions.
And the enthusiasm has shown no signs of flagging, even if the story of Saint Valentine is not exactly well-known. This year, the National Retail Foundation predicts that U.S. consumers will spend $19.6 billion on Valentine’s Day celebrations, just shy of the record of $19.7 billion spent in 2016.
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Thug attacks police station in Lagos, steals DPO’s uniform (Video)
Men of the Lagos Police Command have paraded a hoodlum who attacked and burnt a police station in the state, carting away the DPO’S uniform
The suspect was arrested while rocking the uniform of a DPO.
He was paraded before newsmen by the Lagos state police command today October 27.
Watch a video of him while being paraded along with others below:
Burial arrangements of killed #EndSARS protester, Anthony Unuode, announced
The burial poster of an endSARS protester, Anthony Unuode, who was attacked and stabbed to death by hoodlums in Abuja, has been released by his family members.
Unuode, who joined other Nigerians to protest against police brutality in Kubwa area of Abuja, was attacked and killed by hoodlums who hijacked the peaceful protest.
He was rushed to the hospital where he later died.
He was 28 years old.
According to his obituary, Anthony who was 28 years, will be interred on October 30.
See his obituary below:
Army denies shooting #EndSARS protesters at Lekki tollgate
The Nigerian Army has denied allegations that it shot and killed peaceful end SARS protesters at Lekki toll plaza on October 20.
The denial was disclosed in a statement released by the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army (NA)
The Acting Director Army Public Relations (ADPR), Major Osoba Olaniyi, however, confirmed the involvement of soldiers in restoring order in Lagos following the imposition of a curfew on the state by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Read the statement below:
“The attention of Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral video on social media in which it was alleged that civilian protesters were massacred by soldiers at Lekki Toll Plaza. This allegation is untrue, unfounded and aimed at causing anarchy in the country.
At no time did soldiers of the Nigerian Army open fire on any civilian. From the onset of the ENDSARS protest, there was no time personnel of 81 Division Nigerian Army Lagos were involved.
However, the decision to call in the military was taken by the Lagos State Government (LASG) after a 24- hour curfew was imposed.
This was as a result of the violence which led to several police stations being burnt, policemen killed, suspects in police custody released and weapons carted away.
The situation was fast degenerating into anarchy. It was at this point that LASG requested for the military to intervene in order to restore normalcy.
The intervention of the military followed all laid down procedures for Internal Security operations and all the soldiers involved acted within the confines of the Rules of Engagement (ROE) for Internal Security operations.
Finally, Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army reiterates Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities did not shoot at any civilian as there are glaring and convincing evidence to attest to this fact.
This allegation is the hand work of mischief makers who will stop at nothing to tarnish the image of the Nigerian Army. The general public is hereby enjoined to discountenance this allegation as there is no iota of truth therein.”
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