Valentine has many meanings
Letter to the Editor
St. Valentine's Day; a Christian festival commemorating the martyrdom of St. Valentine on Feb. 14, AD 270.
By the 14th century, its religious significance was overshadowed by the non-religious custom still associated with the day.
Then the word "valentine" was applied to both persons and presents still popular today. It was the custom in my early grade-school days to exchange homemade valentines with each other. I could buy a whole bag full for a dime or so.
Acceptance of St. Valentine as the patron of lovers appears to have been accidental. The most plausible of several theories is the medieval European belief that birds began to mate on Feb. 14.
This notion presumably suggested that lads and lasses should choose lovers and exchange gifts. St. Valentine, who died in defense of our Christian faith, seems to have been forgotten as a person.
The practice of mailing homemade messages, called valentines, has commonly been composed of loving expressions, but unfortunately some cards have become comic or even coarse.
The day is often marked by social affairs of various kinds in which young people and senior citizens can participate in loving remembrance.
Brother Ed Courtney
February 7, 2000
All Viewpoint Stories for Tuesday, February 15, 2000