Happy Valentine’s Day


By Vickie Rhodehamel

Arcanum News

Happy Valentine’s Day! The popularity of St. Valentine’s Day has grown to mark the day lovers exchange love notes called ‘Valentines’ with their sweethearts. In the beginning the trend was to send handmade cards but this changed at the beginning of the 19th century when mass-produced greeting cards caught fancy with people. Over the course of time, Valentine’s Day has come to be regarded as a day to celebrate love, not just romantic love, and cards are gifted to teachers, parents, friends, siblings, and sweethearts.

While many believe that it is a holiday created by the greeting card companies, the origin of Valentine’s Day is traced back to the Roman Empire. It is said that in the Rome of ancient times people observed a holiday on Feb. 14 to honor Juno – the Queen of Roman Gods and Goddesses.

The Romans also regarded Juno as the Goddess of Women and Marriage. In later years, the Emperor Claudius II cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome because he found it tough to get soldiers to join the Roman army because they did not want to leave their wives and families. A priest in Rome named Valentinus (aka Valentine) defied Claudius’ order and secretly married couples. When his defiance was discovered, Valentine was brutally beaten and put to death on February 14, about 270 AD. After his death Valentine was named a Saint. By the Middle Ages, Valentine assumed the image of a heroic and romantic figure amongst the masses in England and France. Around 498 AD, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day to honor the martyred priest Valentinus.

Lenten Season begins with Ash Wednesday starts next week on Feb. 22. Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting, the first day of Lent in Western Christianity. It occurs 46 days (40 weekdays plus six Sundays) before Easter. Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year Palm Sunday, and placing them on the heads of participants to the accompaniment of the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” According to the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus Christ spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan; Lent originated as a mirroring of this, fasting 40 days as preparation for Easter. Every Sunday was seen as a commemoration of the Sunday of Christ’s resurrection and so as a feast day on which fasting was inappropriate. Accordingly, Christians fasted from Monday to Saturday (six days) during six weeks and from Wednesday to Saturday (four days) in the preceding week, thus making up the number of 40 days.

ATTENTION ALL BUSINESS and SPONSORS of the ARTS! Due to the ever-increasing price of costumes, set design, royalties, and props, the Arcanum High School Drama budget is being stretched farther than funds allow. The total estimated costume budget is $1,457. To help with these increasing costs, the directors are asking for people to “Adopt a Character” from their upcoming production of The Wizard Of Oz. By adopting a character, you can provide the funds to pay for the approximate cost of costume(s) for the character(s) of your choice. Your name/ business will be added to their “Adopt A Character or Prop” sign which will be displayed at each performance. For more information or if you wish to adopt a character, contact the director Becky Hootman at 937-692-5174, extension 1009 or email her at: [email protected]. Thank you in advance for helping to make the upcoming production of “The Wizard of Oz” a success.

The Arcanum Alumni Association cordially invites all alumni to the 2023 Arcanum Alumni Banquet to come enjoy a good meal and the fellowship of classmates and friends in a relaxed, casual atmosphere on April 15, no suits, ties or high heels necessary. Hosted by the Arcanum Alumni Advisory Committee, classmates are invited to come early and take a tour of the new school. Honored classes are 75th year – class of 1948; 50th year – class of 1973; 25th year – class of 1998; and the current senior class of 2023. Come and have a great time and remember as a member of the alumni at good ole’ AHS – we are always “Loyal and True”.

To date, the Arcanum, Alumni Scholarship fund has provided scholarships and student support worth over $162,000 to 175 promising AHS graduates who demonstrated financial need, academic promise, and community involvement since 1966. Again, this year, the group plans to honor five seniors with a $1,500 scholarship, and administer the $1000 Ted Murphy Scholarship as well. A new scholarship will also be added this year, the Pay It Forward Scholarship. The Arcanum Alumni asks that you consider sending a donation to the Scholarship Fund to further the education of our current senior class. The scholarships are funded by local businesses and the alumni base. To submit a donation, please send it to the Arcanum Alumni Association, Attn: Denise Swabb, Treasurer, 2011 Trojan Avenue, Arcanum, Ohio 45304. For any questions, please feel free to reach out to Chairperson, Vickie Rhodehamel at [email protected] or 937-423-3763.

Congratulations to Hunter Eley, eighth-grade student from Arcanum-Butler Middle School, who was declared Darke County Spelling Bee champion for the second year in a row. Twelve rounds of competition were necessary to determine Eley as the winner when he spelled both “succumb” and “follicle” correctly. This exciting day for the county’s top spellers was held at Romer’s Catering in Greenville where 32 students and their parents gathered to share a special lunch before the 2023 Darke County Spelling Bee, hosted by Darke County Educational Service Center (ESC), commenced. Congrats Hunter!

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

“Love is like playing the piano. First you must learn to play by the rules, and then you must forget the rules and play from your heart.” ~anonymous

“Love doesn’t make the world go round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” ~Elizabeth Browning

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