14 Feb 2020

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The day dedicated to love has arrived and Sisters Hospitallers want to celebrate it. For the occasion, our residents have made such lovely decorations.  Naturally,  the colour chosen was red and, of course, lots of hearts are on display.

We also decided to make some diamond strings because, as the well-known song says, “Diamonds Are Forever”, and they are a sign of love and commitment too. Finally, we made some cards, because it is always nice to go back and remember when we were young and send a card to the person we were in love with, even if sometimes it was unrequited love!

Origin

Valentine’s  – a day for romance and love when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts. But why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?

The celebration has its origin in the Roman festival of Lupercalia. The festival included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. The young women had to place their names in an urn and the boys picked up one name, they’d be boyfriend and girlfriend during the festival and often they ended up married!

At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I substituted Lupercalia with St Valentine’s Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century. The first Valentine’s Day was in 496! There are several stories associated with various Valentines. One of them talks about St Valentine being jailed for performing weddings for soldiers who were banned from marrying and also because Christians were persecuted under the Roman Empire.

The English poet, playwright, and actor, William Shakespeare, helped romanticize Valentine’s Day in his work, gaining popularity throughout Britain and the rest of Europe. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. During the Middle Ages, people used to make handmade paper cards. And in the 19th century, the industrial revolution helped to market factory-made cards.

The oldest known Valentine poem was written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. “A Farewell to Love”

I am already sick of love,

My very gentle Valentine,

Since for me you were born too soon,

And I for you was born too late.

God forgives he who has estranged

Me from you for the whole year.

I am already, sick of love

My very gentle, Valentine

Well might I have suspected,

Having such a destiny,

Thus would have happened this day,

How much that Love would have commanded.

I am already, sick of love

My very gentle Valentine