I have always loved Valentines Day. When I was a young girl, every person in my classroom at school would make a red heart pouch to hang on the end of each desk. All of the children would bring cards for everyone in class. I could hardly wait to open all the wonderful cards I received. I saved many of them--in fact they are a part of my extensive Valentine Ephemera collection.
I adore this Valentine's Day postcard--the little girl's dress is so pretty--and wouldn't I love to see a violet that size! I thought it perfect for the holiday!
There is a fascinating Valentine's Day legend from long ago. When the Roman empire became too large, more and more men were recruited as solders and officers--pressed into service to protect Rome's vast lands. When Claudius became emperor he brought some interesting ideas to the throne.
Emperor Claudius II believed married men were too emotionally attached to their families. He thought a man with a wife and family, would not make a good soldier. He believed marriage, with it's strong emotional ties, made men weak. So he issued an edict forbidding soldiers to marry.
The ban on marriage was a great shock for the Romans, who's tradition of marriage was a huge part of their society. But the Roman people dared not voice their protest against the mighty emperor.
At that time, there lived a kindly clergyman by the name of Valentine who was known for his powers of healing. This brave man realized the injustice of the decree. He saw first-hand the grief of young lovers who had given up all hopes of being united in marriage. So, Valentine countered the unpopular edict by meeting young lovers to perform marriage ceremonies in secret.
But such things cannot remain hidden for long. It was only a matter of time before the Emperor heard about Saint Valentine, the "friend of lovers." The Emperor promptly had him arrested for his crimes.
When Emperor Claudius visited Valentine, it is said the great ruler was impressed by Valentine's dignity and conviction. However, when the Emperor asked this good man to reverse his feelings about the ban on marriage--Valentine refused to change his views, even attempting to share his own Faith with the Roman leader. As a result, the now thoroughly furious Emperor gave the order to execute Valentine.
During his imprisonment, Valentine's guard, Asterius asked him to heal his daughter of her blindness. Valentine prayed over the girl and she regained her sight. According to this charming, yet sad legend, Valentine fell deeply in love with Asterius' daughter. It is said just before his execution, he asked for a pen and paper to sign a farewell message to the young girl. He signed his letter with, From Your Valentine,
a phrase which lovers use to this very day.
Martyred for love and for his Faith, Valentine is believed to have been executed on February 14, 270 AD.
This brave man left behind a beautiful legacy. Treasure the ones you love this Valentine's Day. It is a wonderful day to share how much you love those who are close to your heart.
Happy Postcard Friendship Friday!
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