The word “February” is from the Latin term meaning “purification” and coincides with the history of Valentine’s Day, named after Saint Valentine.
Valentine was an honorable Bishop who made the art of purification, (act to free a person from sin or guilt,) in holy matrimony his calling card. During his lifetime this sacred ritual was considered a dark sin for young lovers who could not declare or consummate their love.
This month is a time to feel the initial ascent or gentle awakening from a cold winter’s slumber. Our intuitive hearts feel the restless fire within the intrepid rise of the energetic sun and subsequent setting of the romantic moon; and so the deep stirring within beckons our heart-fire. Valentine’s Day is the blazing red-hot holiday to jump-start our passion.
What better way to awaken and purify our hibernating bodies than through the fire of love? A compassionate love of ourselves, our families, friends, community, and even globally. There are no boundaries when we “share the love.”
Sacred Activism is on the rise world wide as seen within the realm of yoga, major corporations, philanthropic organizations, and syndicated TV shows. Renowned celebrities, organizations and individuals are making a difference to those in need.
We humans have a biological yearning and deep desire to help others in need. A kind gesture or selfless act of courage from the heart is the keystone to inner peace and happiness. Our culture has reawakened a deep propensity for agape (selfless-spiritual) love as Saint Valentine emulated so long ago.
The history of Saint Valentine’s Day has been cloaked with intrigue and mystery.
Most scholars believe that Saint Valentine was a priest who lived around 270 AD, in Rome, and attracted the disapproval of Roman Emperor Claudius II. While there are many different versions of this story amongst the Catholics and Protestants, they both agree upon this enlightened priest who held secret marriage ceremonies to honor love.
During the Roman Empire’s latter strife of the Golden Era, Emperor Claudius II had forbid any marriage of young soldiers in and of his command. Education declined, taxation increased and trade was at an all time low. Civil strive increased dramatically due to a lack of administrators and chaos ensued.
The Roman Empire faced major crisis from numerous kingdoms; they had grown too large to be shielded from external aggression and internal conflict. More and more men were recruited as soldiers and officers to protect the vast empire. Whether single, married or fathers they were expected to serve in some manner.
Claudius prohibited marriage. He believed this union weakened his men with emotional attachments to their wives and families, thus making them inadequate soldiers. The Roman population did not outwardly protest this atrocity for it meant the real death.
At this time, a kind bishop named Valentine realized the injustice of this decree. He saw the heartache and distress of young lovers and their broken hope of being united in marriage. Cloaked in secrecy, Valentine would join soul mates in the sacrament of holy matrimony. Historically speaking, such things cannot be hidden for long. He was eventually arrested, sent to prison and executed on February 14, 270 AD.
Valentine possessed saintly abilities and attributes, the stories that surround his imprisonment dealt with his un-abiding faith, pure love and healing powers.
He was believed to have miraculously healed the jailer Asterius’s daughter of her blindness. A deep friendship and love developed between them during his imprisonment.
It is said before his execution Valentine wrote a farewell message to this bereft-young girl and signed it, “From Your Valentine,” a phrase that has endearingly endured to the present day.
Valentine was a martyr for love and the sacred union of those who loved deeply, refusing to denounce his religion and eventually becoming a Patron Saint.
After his death, many a young Roman would offer handwritten greetings of affection to the women they admired in the name of Valentine. During the 14th Century Saint Valentine’s Day became associated with love and romance.
This tradition has evolved and spread throughout the ages and over continents to our modern day of genuine heartfelt celebration. The Saint Valentine’s Day note or card has transpired into hearts, the color red, trinkets, chocolate, flowers, romantic dinners and more. Most people celebrate this cherished event seeking out their loved ones.
We all have unbridled passion and deep burning desire to be the lover and the beloved.
May the seeker become the Lover and the Beloved the Seeker, for there is no greater power than the power of love.
Be Love—Be Loved
Purify your heart and light the fire within. Burn baby…burn
Lets give new meaning to the word Heart Burn!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Assistant Editor: Dana Gornall/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo credit: Pixoto/David Manley