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Musing about:
Love and Romance 
(and indulgencies of Valentine's Day)

What started all the hoopla??

In A.D. 270 in Rome a bishop named Valentine secretly married young couples, despite the emperor's edict forbidding marriage. Valentine's refusal to renounce Christianity and its customs led to his execution on February 14. Legend has it that while in prison awaiting his fate, Valentine fell in love with the daughter of the jailer. He signed his farewell message to her: "From Your Valentine." Valentine's Day is named in his honor.
~ "An Exceptional Valentine" by H.B. London Jr., Focus on the Family magazine, Feb. 2000, p. 12~

Other Valentines (who were also martyrs) became confused with the afore-mentioned  Valentine and/ or  was forgotten.

Cupid and Psyche

"I think you're supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, 
but the rest of it isn't supposed to be so painful."
~A Boy, age 8 ~


According to Roman mythology, Cupid was the son of Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Cupid was known to cause people to fall in love by shooting them with his magical arrows. But Cupid didn't just cause others to fall in love - he himself fell deeply in love.

As legend has it, Cupid fell in love with a mortal maiden named Psyche. Cupid married Psyche, but Venus, jealous of Psyche's beauty, forbade her daughter-in-law to look at Cupid. Psyche, of course, couldn't resist temptation and sneaked a peek at her handsome husband. As punishment, Venus demanded that she perform three hard tasks, the last of which caused Psyche's death.

Cupid brought Psyche back to life and the gods, moved by their love, granted Pysche immortality. Cupid thus represents the heart and Psyche the (struggles of the) human soul.

Valentine Candy

Conversation Hearts

Personally...I love these little gems...buy them by the bagful;)

*Conversation Hearts, originally called Motto Hearts, were created in 1886.

*8 billion Conversation Hearts are produced a year.

*They are manufactured in Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Louisiana. 

*2001 will bring new Sweetheart sayings selected from Seventeen magazine (First Kiss) and American Girl reader.

*To make Valentine's  even sweeter and a lot fresher,ULTRA mint Kiss Me Sweetheart will be launched in 2001.

*Sayings reserved especially for the new mint treat, will be "Ultra" and "Kiss Me." 

*The fat-free, sodium-free candies contain approximately three calories per small heart and six calories per large heart. 

*Since the turn-of-the-century, more than 250 billion Sweethearts brand Conversation Hearts have rolled off the production lines.

Chocolates

"All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now 
and then doesn't hurt!"
 ~Lucy Van Pelt (in Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz)~ 

"Seated high on a golden throne, Motezuma observed by his subjects with reverent awe, repeatedly drank from a golden goblet containing a beverage called chocolatl.  When the Indians honored the Spanish by offering them the bitter, dark brown drink, they explained that the beans from which it was made had come from paradise, and so each sip would bring wisdom and knowledge..."
~Readers Digest--1986~


*More than 3000 years ago, chocolate was enjoyed by the Mayans and Aztecs.  Cocoa and hot chilies where combined to make a drink called "chocolatl" 

*Europeans were introduced to the drink in the 17th century..dropped the chilies and added sugar.

*Chocolate became indulgencies of Seventeenth century 'Social Elite'.  "Chocolate houses' sprang up everywhere.

*Solid chocolate became popular in the 1800's.  The first chocolate bars were just tablets of coarse-ground chocolate and sugar. 

*Dutch settlers who brought chocolate to the American colonies. 

*In 1765, a man named Baker started a chocolate mill near Boston.

*Fry & Sons discovered a way to make chocolate edible in 1847.

*Cadbury Brothers discovered a means of making eating chocolate much smoother and less bitter. Richard Cadbury created the first heart-shaped Valentine's Day boxed candy sometime around 1870.

Flowers

"Love is like a flower, give it time and it will grow"
~John Lennon~

"...Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed 
for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete." 
~The Great Gatsby (1925), ch. 6.

English poet Geoffrey Chaucer (1340?-1400 A.D.). wrote  poetry about Love every year. These 'love poems' were illustrated by his intricate flower imagery. He called them his "Valentine" poems.  Named to honor Valentine , the Bishop in Genoa, Italy in the year 307 A.D.

Upon the death of this Bishop Valentine a great feast was proclaimed to honor him by the Roman Catholic Church May 3rd.

May 3rd was also the last day of the Roman (pagan) "Floralia" (Flower) festival. The goddess Flora, in whose honor the Floralia were held, had a colorful career.  She is the goddess of fertility in the fields and bestows honey by calling winged creatures (birds and insects) to the flowers. She also presides over youths whose bodies are flourishing. The Floralia festivities were characterized by flowers, frolics and flirtations. 

So it was to Bishop Valentine that Chaucer dedicated his floral fantasies. Unfortunately, he never actually pointed that out, so his contemporaries shrugged their collective shoulders and followed suit in bestowing blossoms to the more famous St. Valentine born almost 40 years earlier.  Soon, flowers and Valentine's Day were forever linked, 500 years before they could actually come together. 

Love

"I'm not rushing into being in love. I'm finding fourth 
grade hard enough."
~Girl,age 10~

"The day that we first met, the angels whispered, 'Perfect.'
~Unknown~

Heart Beet

Do you carrot at all for me?
My heart beets for you,
With your turnip nose
And your radish face.
You are a peach.
If we cantaloupe,
Lettuce marry.
Weed make a swell pear.
~Unknown~



 
"But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you. 
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new. 
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more."
                          ~Beatles "In My Life"~

Pick a Card

The first commercial valentines were produced around 1800. Exchanged as messages of love, these cards became popular when postal rates were reduced and the Victorian 'Penny Postcard' became all the rage.

To celebrate the holiday in the Victorian way I have designed a few 'guestbook calling cards' for you.  Click below on the link and pick out your card...no link required...just be sure to spread Valentine's message.

Sign my Guestbook Please;)

Choose a Valentine Calling HERE

Valentine Webrings 

Mississippi Holidays

Webdesign by Sweet and Co.
Artist:  L. Perrault, 1882
Page design January, 2000