The History of Valentine’s Day for Students Updated With Facts.
History of Valentine’s Day for Students: History has it that Valentine was a priest near Rome in about the year 270 A.D, a time when the early Christian church was subjected to significant persecution.
Valentine’s role as a Priest was to assist Christians to escape persecution and to provide them the sacraments, such as marriage, which was outlawed by the Roman Empire at that time.
While records are rare it seems that Valentine’s persecution as a Christian included his interrogation by the then Roman Emperor, Claudius II.
Finding Valentine as an erudite, intelligent man, he attempted to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to not only save his life but then use him as a powerful rival for the rapidly growing Christian movement.
Valentine declined and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed.
It is right to ask at this point:
Well, while he was jailed anticipating execution, the legend was born that he performed a miracle by curing the blindness of Julia, the daughter of his jailer, Asterius.
Julia and all of her father’s household, family and servants, came to have faith in Jesus Christ and were baptized by Valentine.
Father Valentine is said to have secretly done many Christian weddings for Roman soldiers, who were actually forbidden to marry. Roman Emperor Claudius II believed that married men made bad soldiers than single men.
Another legend given to St Valentine is his wish to remind the soldiers of God’s love and to encourage them to remain faithful Christians, he is said to have cut hearts from parchment, giving them to the soldiers.
This is possibly the source of the modern tradition of hearts representing love, and especially used on cards and gifts for Valentine’s Day on 14th February, his Saint’s Day.
Further folklore surrounding Saint Valentine, has it that on the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he wrote the very first Valentine’s card himself, and gave it to the jailer’s daughter Asterius, who was now no longer blind, signing as “Your Valentine”! This, of course, is the expression we now use today, typically when sending an anonymous card.
As stated previously, records are scarce and quite a number of other explanations have been given for the origins of Valentine’s Day.
The period of 13th to 15th February was celebrated in ancient Roman times with the Festival of Lupercalia. This pleased the Roman gods of Lupercus and Faunus and the founders of Rome itself, Romulus and Remus.
The Lupercus festivities are believed to have included the pairing of young women and men for one whole year until the celebration started in the following year.
Of course, this was not recognized as Valentine’s Day festivities (if it was) until late in the 3rd century AD as described above.
Today, of course, celebrations of Valentine’s Day all over the world has become a huge commercial activity, worth billions of dollars worldwide,
especially for the greetings card industry (where it is often coined a “Hallmark Holiday”) and for florists and garden centers.
These industries flourish as Valentine’s Day cards, flowers; chocolates have become more common as the holiday has been commercialized.
– The Influence of St. Valentine
Have a discussion this Valentine’s Day about the meaning of Valentine’s Day and how it influences our society today with students.
It is also interesting to note that the holiday that started so long ago still remains such a central focus of our society today.
Hundreds of thousands of cards, boxes of candy, and gifts will be bought this year, in celebration of this age-old holiday. This article may be interesting for students to discourse the origins of specific Valentine’s Day traditions.
– Love is Not Just About Romance
Another important point to bring out with the student is the fact that valentines are not just about romance.
Love comes in many forms and contexts and it is okay to express love and appreciation for others too. People, who have assisted us, teachers, coaches, aunts, cousins, and friends, are all people who deserve to be recognized this Valentine’s Day.
How Students Can Celebrate Valentine’s Day
Here are a few unique ways students can celebrate Valentine’s Day.
– Perform a good deed for a complete stranger:
This should only be done with consent and supervision of a parent or guardian.
Some great ideas might be to hold the door open for people, offer to lift an elderly lady’s groceries to her car, walk someone’s dog, or shovel a neighbor’s sidewalk after a snowstorm.
You would be astonished what an impact this can make on someone’s life and it will help teach students the meaning of love and caring for others.
– Take a picture of your family that students can share with friends or classmates:
Making use of Photoshop, you can add a heart or red background to enhance the image before sharing. Then post on social media or send through email to friends.
– Have students write a song or poem for a special friend:
This is a good activity to do in any time of year. But during Valentine’s, they could compose a song and record it using podcasting equipment on the computer or a digital tape recorder, then upload it to a friend’s Facebook page or send through email. Interchangeably, they could burn a cd and give it the person in the real world.
– Compose a book about a special friend who means a lot:
This could also be done for grandmothers, cousins, uncles or teachers who have influenced them. Let them select who they would like to make the book about and have them include memories from their childhood, then dress it up in heart themes.
– Have students make a list of all of the people they consider their Valentines:
This should include everyone in their family, friends, extended family, and people who have made a difference in their lives.
Outside the names, they can write one-liners as to how they have assisted them and why they appreciate them so much. This will serve to aid them to think about what they have to be thankful for and the special people in their lives that make life special.
The history of Valentine’s Day dates back several centuries, but we still enjoy this special holiday today: However we celebrate it,
it should include everyone we care about, and students should learn that any day is a good day to say how much we appreciate those who help make life grand.
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