Remember true meaning of Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day: the day of flowers, candy and googly eyes over your sexy significant other. It’s the day to buy oversized boxes of chocolate and share romantic dinners over candlelight. At least, this is how American chick flicks portray it.

But who was St. Valentine anyway? Why does his name immediately bring up the images of red hearts and love letters? 

As it turns out, the factual origin of St. Valentine is not clear. Many fanciful legends have followed the few facts we do have from the Catholic Church.

The holiday roots likely emerge from a Roman fertility festival called Lupercalia celebrated on Feb. 15. Pope Gelasius I changed this festival into a Christian feast called Valentine’s Day to be celebrated Feb. 14.

The mystery continues, however, as the search for who Pope Gelasius I intended to honor begins. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there were three saints by the name of Valentine. Coincidently, all three died martyrs. 

Many scholars and priests believe the Valentine of the holiday was a priest who became an enemy of the Roman emperor Claudius II. One legend involves Claudius II prohibiting marriage for young people, yet St. Valentine still performing them behind his back. This act supposedly led to his imprisonment, torture and death. 

According to americancatholic.org, Valentine’s Day was dropped from the official Roman calendar due to the lack of historical record on St. Valentine himself. 

Today, the origins of Valentine’s Day hardly seem to matter. Through the centuries the holiday has emerged as a celebration of spiritual. 

As kids, it was a fun day to hand out themed cards and candy to everyone in your class. As adults, it became a day to celebrate love with a romantic partner. 

I am disappointed by the lack of facts on St. Valentine. It is difficult to determine what the holiday was originally meant to celebrate without knowing exactly who he was. 

It is clear that St. Valentine was martyred for love. This love could have been romantic, familial, friendly and even spiritual. 

Although most people today deem it a holiday for two, it seems as equally appropriate to be a holiday for spiritual love. 

Valentine’s Day does not need to be celebrated as “Singles Awareness Day.” I have spent many and most Valentine’s Days with a group of friends, talking about love, watching cheesy movies and having some of the best times. 

Who cares if you’re single? Singleness is a great time to grow and discover who you want to be and decide what kind of person you want to be in a relationship.

Do not let singleness ruin your Valentine’s Day. Help your roommate get dolled up for their fancy date and then enjoy a night of chocolate-covered strawberries and wine with the rest of your single ladies. Single men can find their own way of celebrating solidarity with fellow single men.

St. Valentine died for a cause. It seems unlikely he died only for couples. He died for love and love is found in more places than just that significant other.