Brian’s Reflection: Tuesday, February 14, 2012
[ In the Western Christian Calendar: St. Valentine’s Day ]
For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.
Geoffrey Chaucer: “Parliament of Foules”
By the reporting in the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia, there are some 14 “saints” mentioned as Valentine. Three are more commonly mentioned. And: the Encyclopedia pointedly mentions that reportage has almost NO historical value.
A “tradition” arose in the Middle Ages in France and England that on 14th of Feb, birds began to pair. Since Valentine’s (which one?) feast day was Feb 14, the tradition arose that it was a date and a saint specially consecrated to lovers, and as the proper occasion for the writing of love letters and the sending of lovers’ tokens. And (may I cynically say) is it at all surprising that people decided to make money out of it!?
But. I won’t be further cynical. I am quite happy to see a special day dedicated to Love.
I have bought my Dennis a pot of fire-engine red tulips (symbol of “two lips”) and a card with a lovely sentiment from the acerbic Maxine … for a laugh.
I do hope you will resist/have resisted the crass commercialism of this day. Just find time to offer to those you love a simple token of that Love. And for heaven’s sake, gratefully accept any such tokens as you are offered.
The Beatles are right: “All you need is Love.”
I say this to a whole lot of you out there, whom I treasure and value and gratefully love:
Be My Valentine!