26 January 2017
It all began with a roman priest by the name of Saint Valentine. His exact identity and origin remain unknown to this day. However, we do know that it is quite a sad yet at the same time a romantic story. He lived at a time when an emperor by the name of Claudius prohibited the marriage of young people. He believed that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers as they worried about their loved ones if they died in battle. Saint Valentine believed strongly in the bond of marriage and he married couples in secret. He, unfortunately, was eventually caught, placed in prison and tortured, for going against the wishes of the emperor Claudius the second.
There are many stories surrounding Saint Valentine, one of which stands out to me. One of the men due to judge him was called, Asterius. He had a blind daughter. Saint Valentine is said to have healed her through his faith and her father became Christian as a result of this.
Saint Valentine's sentencing was very extreme. On February 14th, he was to be beaten, stoned, and finally decapitated all because of his stand for Christian marriage. It is said that the last words he wrote were in a letter to Asterius daughter. Signed, from your Valentine.
Sending flowers on Valentine's Day, in particular, red flowers, as the red colour represents love and passion. Can be traced back to many cultures in past history. We, unlike poor Saint Valentine, do not have to experience such extremes to confess our feelings. Saint Valentine made a strong stand to fight for the love of others. In a world where people are still fighting to marry their loved ones I think we owe it to him to celebrate love on this important and special day of the year.
Whitefriars Street Church is one of three churches that claim to house the remains of Valentine. Today, many people make the pilgrimage to the church to honour the courage and memory of this Christian saint.
Working in Flowers Now we get to see the outgoing, shy, excited faces of everyone. Young, old, we all love, love. It is a fun part of our job here and we look forward to it every year. What has become quite a light-hearted day, it is hard to believe it sprung from such harsh beginnings. One thing is definite, though, for some love can be hard to find. So when we do we need to celebrate it.
Happy Valentines Day from all in Flowers Now. And if you are looking for flowers on this special day, we are waiting here in Balbriggan to hear from you.
"Valentine has come to be known as the patron saint of lovers.