In the month of February, we live in the realm of romance. Across the world, chocolates, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between lovers, all in the name of St. Valentine.
Rose day marks the beginning of Valentine’s week or love week. It is celebrated on February 7 every year followed by propose day, chocolate day, teddy day, promise day, hug day, kiss day, and Valentine’s Day.
But who is this mysterious saint and where did these traditions come from?
There is an important cultural, religious and commercial spree of love without knowing how did he become associated with this ancient rite?
The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain.
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, disobeyed 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. He also helped Christians escape harsh Roman prisons.
Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day. Indeed there are several martyrdom stories associated with Valentine.
It is rather more likely that the saints are the successors to pre-Christian pagan deities connected to certain times of the year and that each preserves a part of a deity’s aura and mythical functions. In other words, the imaginal substance of a saint is composed of a subtle blend of paganism and Christianity. From this point of view, the worship of saints seeks to absorb the polytheistic tendencies of the pre-Christian religion into the monotheistic framework of Christianity.
Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of the jailor. The legend goes he wrote a letter to the jailer’s daughter signing ” your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution.
The ancient Romans may also be responsible for the name of modern-day love. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.
Still, others insist that it was Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, who was the true namesake of the holiday. He, too, was beheaded by Claudius II outside Rome.
The truth behind the Valentine legends is murky.
Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem is a dream vision portraying a parliament of birds to choose their names. The idea that Valentine’s Day is a day for lovers is thought to originate with Geoffrey Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls, a poem written in the late 14th century. It describes a group of birds which gather together in the early spring – on ‘seynt valentynes day’ – to choose their mates for the year.
The first paragraph translated into modern English means
The life so short, the craft so long to learn,
The assay so hard, so sharp the conquering,
The fearful joy that slips away in turn,
All this mean I by Love, that my feeling
Astonishes with its wondrous working
So fiercely that when I on love do think
I know not well whether I float or sink.
There are over 300 million people living with one or more of over 6,000 identified rare diseases around the world, each supported by family, friends, and a team of carers that make up the rare disease community.
Each rare disease may only affect a handful of people, scattered around the world, but taken together the number of people directly affected is equivalent to the population of the world’s third-largest country.
Rare diseases currently affect 3.5% – 5.9% of the worldwide population.
72% of rare diseases are genetic whilst others are the result of infections (bacterial or viral), allergies, and environmental causes, or are degenerative and proliferative.
70% of those genetic rare diseases start in childhood.
A disease is defined as rare in Europe when it affects fewer than 1 in 2,000 people.
In the European Union (EU), rare diseases (RD) are officially defined as disorders affecting no more than 5 per 10,000 persons [ 1 ]. These are life-threatening or chronically debilitating diseases with a low prevalence and a high level of complexity.
In India, patient organizations first became involved in Rare Disease Day in 2010. Most of the population are unaware and they are not treated with equality.
Here I not only faced challenges in my childhood days because I never looked like I was sick, but I also looked cheerful, with big observant eyes filled with curiosity but everything was wrong internally.
When the money-minded, relatives ditched us after my father perished, Mum with her neat and orderly mind kept her struggle with survival moving forward.
The early years were toughest: we had no money and no idea what to eat the next day. The relations with a twisted mentality are still fighting and trying to swat me out of the way.
The challenge was thrown down our way has been quite an adventure, setbacks with hard work and luck involved.
Going down memory lane, how I survived so many surgeries including my landmark liver transplant, kidney cancer, MDR TB, and obviously fighting brain tumors more than folksies have lice on their head, is indeed a marvel, a wonder indicating God’s intervention. As mountains rose on my way it couldn’t startle and I didn’t quiver with fear.
I live in a realm where with Mum’s support I can move the mountains with determination and resolve.
So, all I want to say is dear friends don’t just think about your loved ones and love life, love your neighbor as yourself.
Love one another, have mercy on those who need support to survive. Your life would turn out to be heavenly.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
END OF ARTICLE