I had to go there…it is Valentine’s Day and Cooke’s voice was as smooth as the finest of chocolates. So how did a holiday associated with romance and love have so much death, despair and martyrdom at its core. St. Valentine was a Christian martyr who was beheaded in AD 269 for trying to convert the Roman Emperor Claudius II to Christianity. His head (or at least his skull) is on display in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. The rest of him was buried on February 14th. The holiday became associated with romantic love during the time of Geoffry Chaucer in the High Middle Ages. His poem, “The Love Birds” states “For this was seynt Volantynys day, whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make,” or “For this is Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” The holiday was deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul IV. Draw back your bow on that one!
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