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Friday, February 14, 2014

Saint Valentine's Day

As we approach the confectioners, to purchase chocolate covered offerings, the florists to buy flowers, and the stationary store to pick out the appropriately affectionate card for our chosen one, let us not forget the man responsible for all of the love, joy, and romance of the day.

An artist interpretation.
Not the real Saint Valentine.
Let me introduce, Saint Valentine.  A Roman priest from the 3rd century, during the time of Claudius the II (Roman, for Junior) who thought the best soldiers were single men (apparently, Claudius II (Roman for I + I) was never married, if you catch my drift), and banned the marriage of all "young people."  Young was Roman for "able to shove a spear all the way through one of our enemies."  

Valentine, the priest, did not care for this mandate and performed many ceremonies, marrying young people without concern for the silly rules of Claudius II (Roman for III - I).*

Here is where the romantic bit came in, Claudius II (Roman for almost as good as I,but a lot cheaper) for was so moved by this brave, and noble gesture that he ended the siege of the Balkans, freed the slaves and granted Carthage sovereignty.

No, he didn't really do that, Roman emperors were not normally very tolerant of disobedience.  Preferring the blind loyalty that comes with being in charge of the a hideously large empire that even now, hundreds of years later it still is covered in scholarly research, popular art and web logs.  Claudius II (Roman for, "wow, that was kind of overkill) had him beaten, stoned and decapitated. 

Well, at least they are better than Peeps.

Which is why we celebrate Saint Valentine's day, with chocolate, flowers, dinners, dancing, romance and love.  Yeah, I know, it doesn't make any sense to me either.

Anyway, here is the perfect opportunity to mention my wife.  A woman of infinite patience, who has learned to suffer foolishness gladly over the years, and who saved me from an early and bad end, though sometimes I am sure she wonders why she did that.  Thank you, for everything, Happy Valentines Day!

* Yes, I know there are other beliefs about the origin of this day, but it is my blog, after all.