Valentine’s Day. A Hallmark holiday. Is it even connected to anything in history? The Roman Catholic Church removed St. Valentines’ Day from its calendar in 1969 because there was nothing known about the 3 St. Valentines that had been venerated except that one of them was martyred on February 14th. Chaucer had started the whole romantic connection by writing this verse in 1382 as part of a poem to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of Richard II to Anne of Bohemia:
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
“For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”
Okay. So what?
Eventually socialization takes over. We establish a day on the calendar to honor Love and allow traditions to flourish. It’s good for the economy. See also Mother’s Day and Sweetest Day. We grow increasingly attached to our traditions and habits and compartmentalize the celebration of Love to coincide with the day. That’s what I would call sentimental. It’s about the past and nostalgia.
But why not forget February 14, the calendar, and time itself, since they are merely social constructs, and instead try to honor every moment as we live it? The Bell of Mindfulness rings for this moment only. What are you feeling? What is happening around you? Are you fully aware of the miracle of living right now? If in your awareness, you choose to employ an “outward and visible sign of the inward and spiritual grace” of being mindful, then that’s what I would call a sacrament.
And if the whole thing just strikes you as absurd and unrealistic, then you might be what I would call cynical. You might connect the day with massacres and treat your loved ones to:
Whatever your particular taste tends to on Valentine’s Day, I hope you enjoy the flavor!!