Saint Valentine’s Day!
Today is St. Valentine’s Day! As a journal entry, I made my students find out the real story behind this day, a day that makes all of us who are single feel like shit because we have not been hit with cupid’s arrow.
The current legends that we believe about Saint Valentine came about during the early 14th century, invented by Chaucer and his circle. The traditions of Valentine’s Day that Chaucer documented in his “Parliament of Foules,” traditions set in the fictional context of old traditions, didn’t exisit before Chaucer, according to historian Jack Oruch. All we know is that Saint Valentine oversaw the building of his temple in Terni, there is no indication that he was ever a patron saint for lovers.
So basically, the romantic traditions of Valentine’s Day were created by an English author/poet/diplomat. I have personally seen a copy of the Canterbury Tales (Huntington Library in Pasadena) and just looking at it could make me fall in love, it is a beautiful book. And one could only hope that his heirs also have stock in Hallmark–hey maybe they even created Hallmark, FTD Flowers, See’s Candies, etc.
So for all of you lovers out there, Geoffrey Chaucer is your real “saint” and for those of us who are singletons, he is our mortal enemy who has found yet another way to make us feel bad–cause all those engagement parties, wedding showers, weddings, and jared commercials weren’t enough.
For single people everywhere, our real Valentine’s hero is Al Capone! And I can’t speak for all singletons but on February 14th, I love watching the 1967 film “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” while eating chocolates and ordering pizza. This is a tradition that truly warms my heart every year.