Blessed St. Valentine's Day to all. It seems that there are various stories about why this saint and this day came to be associated with romantic love. In fact, as there are more than one saints named Valentine, it's not completely clear which of these saints is being commemorated. The Writer's Almanac on NPR today relates one story of a St. Valentine, who would secretly perform marriages, despite Emperor Claudius II forbidding men to marry in order to boost enrollment in the army. On being discovered, he was sentenced to beheading, so in addition to promoting marriage, as a martyr St. Valentine was a great witness for his love of God.
Regardless of how this day came to be observed, the gesture of expressing our love to those dear to us is a good one on any day. I usually make small token for my husband and leave it somewhere for him to find. Last year I used cutouts from the cardboard sleeves of some Charlie Brown DVDs that we had gotten at the library to decorate a few Valentines.
The first year we were married, I made these felt Valentines that I left scattered all over the place.
This year, I don't know if you could say I went in a really silly direction, or a really practical one. We have a few hand-knit dishcloths that I have made, and we both really prefer these to the store bought cloths, so I made this:
A heart-shaped dishcloth. It certainly made James laugh, but he's not quite sure if he should be irritated that I gave him cleaning supplies as a token of my love and affection. Although I have to admit, I do feel particularly loving toward him when he does the washing up. :o)
Since today is also the last of Cheesefare, we are industriously applying ourselves to the remaining items of dairy in the house. We've managed to eat up most of the cheese, and we will likely have eggs and milkshakes for dinner. I ate this for an afternoon snack, which is sort of a Valentine in itself. It's Black Raspberry Chip from Graeter's, which I was thrilled to find is now available at a local grocery store chain here in Indianapolis.
It feels quite appropriate that St. Valentine's Day should fall on Forgiveness Sunday, as we endeavor to show love and humility to one another and to God, forgiving one another as we enter Great Lent.