Saturday, 14 February 2009

Today's Flowers: Valentine's Day




 
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St. Valentine's Story ( Author unknown)
Let me introduce myself. My name is Valentine. I lived in Rome during the third century. That was long, long ago! At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. I didn't like Emperor Claudius, and I wasn't the only one! A lot of people shared my feelings.
Claudius wanted to have a big army. He expected men to volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their wives and families. As you might have guessed, not many men signed up. This made Claudius furious. So what happened? He had a crazy idea. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. So Claudius decided not to allow any more marriages. Young people thought his new law was cruel. I thought it was preposterous! I certainly wasn't going to support that law!

Did I mention that I was a priest? One of my favourite activities was to marry couples. Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, I kept on performing marriage ceremonies -- secretly, of course. It was really quite exciting. Imagine a small candlelit room with only the bride and groom and myself. We would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers.

One night, we did hear footsteps. It was scary! Thank goodness the couple I was marrying escaped in time. I was caught. (Not quite as light on my feet as I used to be, I guess.) I was thrown in jail and told that my punishment was death.

I tried to stay cheerful. And do you know what? Wonderful things happened. Many young people came to the jail to visit me. They threw flowers and notes up to my window. They wanted me to know that they, too, believed in love.

One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit me in the cell. Sometimes we would sit and talk for hours. She helped me to keep my spirits up. She agreed that I did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and going ahead with the secret marriages. On the day I was to die, I left my friend a little note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. I signed it, "Love from your Valentine."

I believe that note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine's Day. It was written on the day I died, February 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. And when they think of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to stand in the way of love, and they laugh -- because they know that love can't be beaten!

TODAY'S FLOWERS was created
by LUIZ SANTILLI JR
Now it's managed by SANTILLI and DENISE BC Thank you, Luiz and Denise!To see more flowers click on the logo in the side bar.

42 comments:

Jeannette St G. said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Wil - you are "a few hours ahead" of us in the US - I still need to go to bed (it's Friday night) - you'll see my take on Valentine's day when it is morning here. I'll be gone for the weekend, so seeya on Monday :)

Marja said...

What a fantastic story I really enjoyed it and never would have thought valentine was a priest. Happy valentine to you Here the day is almost finished

Dina said...

A good telling of a good story, Wil.
Long live love!

Pacey said...

Beautiful and sweet story of Valentine. Now I know.

BTW, I love that yellow flower in your header. Magnificent!

Denise said...

What a truly wonderful post. I never knew this before. Thank you for sharing it and Happy Valentine's Day.

Michele said...

I adore the story... it's always been a favorite read of mine!
A wonderful post for a lovely day!

Happy Valentine's Day♥

vincibene said...

Danke für Deinen Kommentar und diese schöne Legende!
Ja, die Herzen sind selbst gemacht, mit der Nadel gefilzt (needle felting).

Ich wünsche Dir noch einen schönen Valentinstag!

LG
Chris

Pam said...

I love your header flower photo, it's fantastic ;) I am keeping the fire victims in my prayers. Happy Valentine's Day ;)

Cynthia said...

What a sad ending...sweet and sad. Happy V-day to some dear one who has a romantic's heart. Love from Oasis <3

Miss_Yves said...

Charming tale and lovely picture !
Valentine's day it's a new custom in France,which is very popular among youg people.
On the other side , there are criticisms about business all around this new feast .
I'm going on holidays for a few days :happy Valentine's day !

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely story Wil. Your header never fails to surprise me - lovely flower too.

Arkansas Patti said...

Amazing header and lovely story--- except for the dying part.
Love puts the glow on all good things.

Catherine said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Wil -here is a link you might find interesting given that you posted the story of Valentine, this is the Irish link!
http://www.carmelites.ie/ireland/Whitefriar%20St/valentine.htm
It is a fascinating story and there has always been devotion to him in Dublin because of the link to Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church, before ever the day was overrun with the crass commercialism you see all over the country today.
Thanks for the comment you left on my Anzac post! Glad you like the Waltzing Matilda song as well, and the Dutch connnections look worth checking out - I will when I get a minute!
Talk to you again.

Barbara Martin said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Wil, and thank you for the perfect story for this day.

Marja said...

I've got an award waiting for you

Poutalicious said...

I have been wondering all day about St. Valentine. What a great story.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Every holiday has its classics, it's always a good story that makes it sink in.

Cloudia said...

Happy Valentines Day, Wil!
Wonderful amazing yellow heading!!
Creative post ;-) Aloha-

Arija said...

Wil. that was beautiful like your flower.
Thank you for your kind wishes, I am not out of the woods yet, but I thin I see a glimmer of light.

Etje said...

Een bloem voor alle slachtoffers van die vresleijke brand in Australië.

Groetjes

antigoni said...

In Orthodox Church we celebrate the love day in February 13th. A couple (Aquilas and Priscilla) were married and very much in love. They were Apostoles and had tragic death (beheaded) for the love of Jesus. They became Martyrs,too.

Brenda said...

I had forgotten the story of St Valentine. I love your flower pictures. Have a great Sunday!

Lilli & Nevada said...

Ah Happy Valentine to you as well. I just new someone would post about this special day.

Jedediah said...

That was a nice story and a lovely photo. Your new header is gorgeous, too.

RuneE said...

A nice one - and I once again learned something from your post (even though I don't celebrate Valentine's day - really not a custom in Norway)

VALKYRIEN said...

How clever, to combine valentines day, and Today's Flower! One rose is beautiful on its own! And a good story to follow! Thanks a lot!

By the way, the flower in the heading is also very, very beautiful!

Inkivääri said...

Thank you for a story and a sweet rose:)

guild-rez said...

Great picture and a great story..
- Cheers.

Carletta said...

Having been born on Valentine's Day I knew the story. Glad you shared it and hope your Valentine's Day was sweet and filled with love.
This one single rose is gorgeous against the wood background.

dot said...

A late "Happy Valentine's Day" to you. The one rose is beautiful and the story too. It's nice to know how it all started.

Gill - That British Woman said...

lovely photo and a pretty colour.....

Gill in Canada

blossom said...

Rose is perfect for Valentine. The beauty, the scent, the color, it has them all. Happy Valentine's day.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

So............does this mean this holiday wasn't created by Hallmark? Just kidding. Great post and as always, lovely picture.

Laerte Pupo said...

Nice photo. For the Valentine's Day a rose is perfect.

antigoni said...

There are many hidden Christians in Turkey (called Kryptoxristianoi)
And you can understand why they are hidden.

Naturegirl said...

What a wonderful history lesson about
the original Valentine's Day! Thank you! I also recieved such a rose from my sweetheart!Smiles to you! :)

auringonkukka finland =) said...

BEAUTIFUL PHOTO AND FLOWERS ;)
have a nice week!

fishing guy said...

Wil: That was an interesting story to go along with your rose for Valentines Day.

Gretchen said...

Such a gorgeous flower! Great story, too. :)

justin manas prince jaspher ligin said...

short and sweet story..

nonizamboni said...

Great post, Wil--thanks for the reminder. Also, a lovely rose in tribute.
Have a great week!

twobarkingdogs said...

Lovely! Thanks for sharing. I can't wait for my roses to start growing again ...