It’s a day some look forward to with excited anticipation and secret hope and others with dread and despair. So, what could this day be?
Well, it’s Valentine’s Day, 14 February, the red-letter day of love when the shops are full of red hearts, red roses, chocolates, cards, and many gift ideas to share with that special person in your life.
Did you know that Americans spend nearly $30 billion on Valentine’s Day each year? And that the first Hallmark Valentine’s Day cards were sold in 1913 and today about 145 million Valentine cards are given each year. A surprising statistic about Valentine’s Day is that teachers receive the most Valentine’s cards annually of anyone in the world.
Now, since Valentine’s Day is the second biggest holiday spend after Christmas, let’s take a deeper look at the fascinating facts of how this day of celebrating love began. Well, the legend says, there are at least two men named Valentine that could have inspired this special holiday and both came from the time when the Roman Empire ruled the world.
The Roman Emperor Claudius II banned the young soldiers in the Roman army from marrying as he thought it distracted their focus on fighting. So, the priest Valentine secretly and illegally married the young couples until he was caught and sentenced to death.
The other Valentine is a man who is remembered for sending the first valentine message. He was sentenced to death for attempting to help Christians escape prison in Rome. Legend has it, that while he was imprisoned, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and wrote her a message, signed ‘from your Valentine.’
We may not know if these Valentine legends are true, but that isn’t what matters. As the old saying goes, “Love makes the world go round” and the billions of dollars spent on gifts and the millions of couples who get engaged or married each year on Valentine’s Day are a testament to love.
So why is this day celebrated? Because we all have this innate need for someone to love us, not just on Valentine’s Day but every day. Jesus has said that the two greatest things in life are loving God and loving each other.
If you would like to find out more about God’s love, click on the QR code on the screen or go to The Incredible Journey website, tij.tv, to find some great programs on God’s love.