Día del Amor y la Amistad: 14 de febrero
El Día del Amor y la Amistad se celebra el 14 de febrero, fecha en la que se rinde tributo al más hermoso sentimiento como lo es el amor. En este día, los enamorados, novios, esposos y amigos expresan su amor y cariño mutuamente a través de regalos poemas y cenas románticas.
Es una celebración de origen anglosajón que se implantó en otras tierras a lo largo del siglo XX, hasta nuestros días.
Cuenta la leyenda que San Valentín había sido cura en el templo durante el reinado de Claudio III cuando el Emperador decidió que todos los hombres jóvenes debían ser soldados, y les prohibió contraer matrimonio porque según él, la soltería los hacía más bélicos y combativos en las batallas, y sin familia eran mejores soldados, ya que tenían menos ataduras; sin embargo, a pesar de esta prohibición, san Valentín llevaba a cabo en secreto la celebración del matrimonio para los soldados, hasta que fue descubierto por Claudio, quien lo encarceló por desafío.
Según la historia, San Valentín dejó una carta de despedida a la hija del carcelero de quien se enamoró durante su encarcelamiento, y esta carta fue la primera carta de amor de San Valentín. Dejó al final de la misma su firma «De su Valentín», firma que se convirtió en popular para las parejas que se envían tarjetas con frases de amor.
Por otra parte, estudiosos de las aves indican que en los países nórdicos, algunos de estos animales comienzan a emparejarse y aparearse durante esta fecha, de ahí que este período se vea como un homenaje al amor y a la creación.
Cupido es símbolo del día de San Valentín, se le conoce como un niño con alas y armado con arco y flechas que son disparadas a dioses y humanos, provocando que se enamoren profundamente. En ocasiones lleva también los ojos vendados, para mostrar que el amor es ciego.
Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly known as Valentine’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it remains a working day in most of them. After New Year’s Day, it is the most celebrated holiday around the world.
St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. The most popular martyrology associated with Saint Valentine was that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire; during his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote «from your Valentine» as a farewell to her. Today, Saint Valentine’s Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the Lutheran Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates Saint Valentine’s Day, albeit on July 6th and July 30th, the former date in honor of the Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and the latter date in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni).
The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as «valentines»). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.
Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from? Find out about the history of this centuries-old holiday, from ancient Roman rituals to the customs of Victorian England.
The Legend of St. Valentine
The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?
The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first «valentine» greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed «From your Valentine,» an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.