St Valentine’s day became so common phenomena today that couldn’t avoid the paradox which catches most of the holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving: having reached the top of popularity, they have been devalued to some extent, due to their commercial and ritualized nature. Meanwhile, such days possess a real power to revive and turn busy human mind to the eternal, important and core values. St. Valentine’s associated with love which is so multi-faced and erratic. Perhaps, the holiday forces even the most pragmatic and sceptic heart at least to think about love, and, perhaps, revise the attitudes to the capricious god of love. How easy is to turn every holiday into a meaningless ritual, unthinkingly repeating some mechanical actions! And how difficult is to say the words of love and gratefulness in the daily fuss. Vanity of modern life absorb us sometimes to the point that we forget how much we love those close to us, and such days as St. Valentines, are meant to renew the vision.
History knows many ancient saints named Valentines, who reduced to a single mythological Valentine, a loyal Christian, executed for his belief by the Romans. Being an ancient saint, he automatically adds some high values background to the day. His name, meaning “health”, “strength” can be read symbolically, as if defining the main purpose of love bonds we have: love should nurture us, providing with inspiration and energy, not devastate us by lowering the self-esteem and using our love.
From the historical and religious figure Valentine turned into a playful flirtatious Cupid on the colourful postcard, created by the commercial world and criticised so much by the adherents of traditional and conservative views. However, do the historical and theological disputes really matter today for the majority of those who celebrate the day? The day meant to manifest love and affection, romanticism and relations between both. If you enjoy loving, caring, passionate and exciting and enriching relations, contribute your love into every deed towards your beloved, and create magic during the Valentine’s day. The postcards, angels and hearts, as well, as ready sms or words, so generously offered by market are wonderful, but what is more important, is your own effort and focus on relations. You may avoid a commercial fever and make an invisible print of the day which will be your own world, carved in memory and the emotional body, and which will nurture the world created by you. It is such a perfect chance to create small yet pleasant and powerful tradition or ritual to maintain the bond between you both throughout the year and for the future. In my family we started a tradition of greeting each other in a special album on meaningful and important dates which every family usually has: birthdays, anniversaries, New Year, and others. On Valentine’s day it was father’s responsibility to fill in the page, and each time he impressed us with new images, touching meaningful words and some beautiful drawing. It made us feel as in old forgotten times of court love when men were praising the Lady, serving her with dignity and loyalty; or in England of the 18th century, when Valentine’s Day has been already celebrating. It may be a special dinner cooked with love, a present created by your own hands, or something intangible as fulfilling her or his small dream expressed long ago; it can be anything which can show your personal care. And this will always be appreciated.
In case of being single and dreaming of love, St. Valentine might grant you with new love. Don’t forget to light a candle, write your wish on a beautiful postcard of the heart-shape, and buy a nice present for yourself, pretending it to be from your generous partner. Who knows, maybe a seed of new wonderful flower of love could be planted, and Valentine will become the Santa of love, bringing your prince or princess just at your threshold. If you are single and satisfied with it, the day, named after the noble Saint who healed his judge’s daughter before his execution, I believe may be used for great spiritual and healing practices, to send love and light to family, friends and people we value and care for.
Whatever the holiday derived from, it is worth repeating the mantra “I love you”, just as we used to repeat Merry Christmas on relevant day. And prepare for surprises because the magic of love always works.