Everyone’s idea of a great Valentine’s Day is different.
While we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, apparently, Valentine was NOT an uncommon name and there were several Christian martyrs named Valentine. So, in efficient fashion, they and the stories and legends that surrounded them, all got combined into one. Because history is messy.
Was There Really a Saint Valentine?
Most likely, yes. Since there were so many running around…
So, Valentine’s Day honors the guy named Valentine in Rome and the other guy named Valentine in Terni. (I know people sometimes edit Wikipedia for their own amusement and I’m wondering if poor St. Valentine’s page is a victim. If not, I guess we should be calling it St. Valentines’ Day.) NEITHER should be confused with a 4th-century tribune called Valentino who donated land to build a church at a time when Julius was a Pope. And Valentino should not be confused with Rudolph Valentino, “the Latin Lover” and a heart-throb in his day.
The stories have it that St. Valentine (whichever one it was) performed secret weddings for Roman soldiers who were not allowed to marry. According to the legend, St. Valentine supposedly cut hearts out of parchment and gave them to the soldiers to remind them of “their vows and God’s love.” He also supposedly wore an amethyst ring with an image of Cupid on it. You can see how all these legends (which is a really what they call tall tales when they’re REALLY OLD), combined and gave us this convoluted mashup of a holiday.
Amy Poehler is the patron saint of Galentine’s Day, celebrated on February 13th officially, but really, you can get together with your gal pals for this celebration any time between the first and the 14th. We can thank the writing staff of Parks and Recreation for this holiday—a clapback at the fuss of Valentine’s Day where we celebrate being able to do exactly what we want to do with our friends. It’s a great way and a great day to appreciate our support network of friends—the ones who show up with chocolate, wine, and pints of Ben and Jerry’s whenever we have love troubles.
AND OF COURSE… FREEBIES!
I made bookmarks and bookplates with Valentine’s (and Galentine’s) designs for you. You can find them in the Freebie Library, ready to download, print out, and use. Here’s what the bookplates look like:
Celebrate in Your Own Way
You may or may not have a love in your life, but one thing that has probably been a part of you ALL your life is a love of books. (We bookworms tend to start early.) It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day, or “Oh, yeah, it’s the 14th” — these bookmarks and bookplates are a nice little gift for you or to give to others. Plus, I see no problem with spreading a little love all year round.
And so, whether you are with someone you love—spouse, partner, two-footed friends or your best furry friend or like me, curled up with a good book (and chocolate, of course!) enjoy your Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day.