Who was Saint Valentine? It appears that there were at least 12 men named Valentine and proclaimed saints according to the Roman Catholic Church roster of saints, so differentiating them gets a bit sketchy, however it seems the first Valentine was a priest during the rule of Emperor Claudius II. Wanting an unmarried military, Claudius outlawed marriages and engagements, however Valentine secretly married couples, that is, until he was discovered and beheaded on Feb. 14, 270 AD.
With at least a dozen Saint Valentine’s it is little wonder that he is the patron saint of many things, such as beekeepers, epilepsy, engaged couples, happy marriages, fainting, as well as the plague. There was even a Pope Valentine, who served only 40 days around the year 827.
Throughout the centuries stories of love and martyrdom eventually led to lover’s professing their love on the holiday — which is much better than literally losing their head!
It seems American are not only romantic but big spenders when Valentine’s Day hits. Statistics bear out that 62 percent of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day spending an average of $20 billion. There are more than 35 million boxes of candy and 220 million roses produced for the day of romance and love.
Although flowers and candy are most popular nearly 20 percent give jewelry and 6 million couples are expected to be engaged this holiday! Then there are always those romantics that lavish their beloved with a combination of everything; a romantic greeting card, flowers, candy, dinner and jewelry.
Even the grade schooler participates in Saint Valentine’s Day by passing out cards, and small gifts, such as the novelty toys they might win at a festival fish pond. In my day we shared homemade treats or candies, but with today’s food allergies it’s not generally done anymore. In my parent’s day they had beautifully ornate and intricate 3-D styled valentine cards. And no child was forgotten for even the teachers gave their students valentine cards.
Now COVID-19 is “cramping our style” making it difficult to find joy in the holiday unless we are in a relationship. No longer can we attend a Valentine’s Day dance. Even many wedding reception lists have been trimmed to the immediate family. Where can we go? What can we do?
For those of us without partners we can enjoy the holiday in our own unique way. We should do something that makes us happy. For example we can:
1) Send a valentine email to our friends,
2) Host a singles game night,
3) Bake cookies for our neighbors,
4) Spend the day crafting or scrapbooking,
5) Treat ourselves to a manicure and pedicure,
6) Attend a winery and sample their stock,
7) Rent a movie, we’ve been wanting to watch,
8) Pamper ourselves with a facial or makeover,
9) Schedule a massage,
10) Make plans with a friend,
11) Find a craft beer sampling event,
12) Enjoy a leisured bath,
13) Buy ourselves flowers,
14) Finally, Catch up on our rest.
Avoid loneliness and depressed eating. Stay off Social Media, there will be too many people posting about their romantic evening and sharing photos. Just make some plans, we should focus on our own concerns and happiness, and know that we are loved.
“Love is the beauty of the soul.” — Saint Augustine
“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” — Aristotle
“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” — Victor Hugo
Mark your calendar for Sunday, Feb. 14 to enjoy Fried Chicken by the Versailles American Legion held at the Vets Club beginning at 4 p.m. Call-ins can be made to 937-526-5959 and there is a drive up line on the Wood Street side. Call in or pull up and place your order. Drive up orders will be delivered to your car.
Friday, Feb. 19 the OSU Darke County Extension office is offering a free informational class – “All about Air Frying”, via Zoom® class from 12 to 1 pm. You may register online: go.osu.edu/darkelunchandlearn or call Dr. Roseanne Scammahorn at 937.548-5215.
Happy birthday to Brian Bensman, Nicole Berger, John Berger, Christie Boyd, Josh Brooks, Deyson Bulcher, Gary Cohee, Judy Cochran, Brittany Dirksen, Mark DeMange, Ron DeMange, Josh Didier, Eric Epperly, Kobe Epperly, Bev Francis, Deb Groff, Kim Hayes, Abby Koons, Joan Trittschuh, Carol Simmons, Leslie Phlipot, Mallory Marshal, Michael Stammen, Shawn Peters, Muzz Pierron, Bev Garrison, Rachel & Emily Tumbush, Tim Magoto, Rita Ruhenkamp, Jim Subler, Randy Swisher, Doug Seibert, Karen Keiser, Diane Schrader, Jason Roll, Jennifer Paulus, Peg Summers, Dave Miller, Terry Oliver, Angie Minnich, Joyce Luthman, Renee Miller, Kristin Lenox, Bruce Simon, Jennifer Sturgill, Dawn Luthman, Baylee Roll, Tim Lewis, Lucinda Todd, Rick Unger, Sue Vickroy, Jenny Weaver, Avery Wentworth, and Angela Westfall. Anniversary wishes to Judie and Ron Stauffer (47) and Dixie and Mike Wehrkamp.
Please give your supportive and healing prayers for our nation and the many friends, neighbors, and relatives who are dealing with any of life’s countless challenges. Pray too for those who are living their “new normal”, recuperating, or under medical care. Keep in mind that prayer benefits both those prayed for and those who pray.
Heartfelt sympathy is extended to the family and friends of William “Bill” Albritton (67) and all those who recently passed on, and all who are in our hearts but not mentioned by name as the anniversary of their passing nears.