here and there

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Saint Valentine

Valentine is known to be the patron saint of love, however, on the web, I also found that he is the Patron Saint of bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers and young people.  Valentine, a Roman Priest, was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity.  I am not too sure when Valentines become so commercial i.e. our papers this week are filled with ads for red roses, champagne, red meat, boxes of chocolate and sexy lingerie?  I did see Valentine products in the store as the Christmas decorations came down

When I was in Puerto Rico last year on Valentines Day, old San Jose burst in colors of red and pink as all the stores and street corners were decorated in flowers and balloons.  Old San Jose was the place to be in the evening, one could not move on the crowded streets. The restaurants were packed and lines of people waiting for taxis for hours were jovial as they chatted to one another.  Everyone greeted you with “Happy Valentines!”

In the old Cathedral in San Jose at mass, a special blessing was offered to young and old couples. Yet families were very much present in the church and on the streets of San Jose.  The spirit of togetherness and love was in the air!

This Monday, I read with great sadness of an elderly woman found frozen to death in her shanty that she heated with a wood stove, her face to the door.   My heart when out to her in her final hours as she lay on the floor.  What were her final thoughts or prayers? 

A comment in the Edmonton journal article “When a Woman Falls in Our Community, Do We Hear Her?”, made me reflect on elderly right, choices and societies role, but also about being alone and forgotten by all but a few.

To my surprise when I goggled to find the story, she was not the only one who froze to death in their home in Canada this past week. 

 As I ponder on the true meaning of Valentines, I could not help but  think of these unfortunate people, our networking of friends and family and how Valentines commercialism has profited on our emotions and feeling of wanting to be loved!

I’m not saying that I don’t love to be pampered with a great meal and flowers, but there is so much more to Valentine’s Day.

For many Valentines can be a bitter reminder of the loneliness of being alone.  Yet, we can still celebrate the true meaning of Valentines.  We can do something special for a person in our life; the cousin, the aunt, the uncle, the nephew, the niece, the parent or friend who has been there for you when ever you need them.  The true meaning of Valentines is just not reserved for that significant other, but the expression of love for those that are there for you in your life.  
So dress in red, decorate your place, make some cheesy Valentine cards, plan a special meal and invited those that are important to you!

This year, I plan to spend my Valentines in Manitoba with my brother, visiting my aging aunt and visiting a young family, who just may have a baby born on St Valentines!  All thanks to my loving husband who in the true spirit of Valentines is allowing me to do so!! 

This is a Valentine card that I made for my relatives years ago!

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