It's been a very long time since Uncle P has had a Valentine. In fact, I think I've mentioned before that the last Valentine's Day I celebrated, my date dumped me (the night after we saw Shakespeare in Love).
The photo to your right is of a supposed 'Holy Relic' of what may have been any number of Christian martyrs by the Roman name of Valentinus. Having directed what should have been a wonderful production of Michael Hollinger's play Incorruptible (a theatre story for another post), I doubt the veracity of any and all such 'relics.'
Nonetheless, Hallmark; Hershey's; Nestle's; Godiva; American Greetings; Zales; Jarrod's and the SAF (among any other number of retailers) have all managed to turn the legend of a Christian martyr who either died because he professed his love to a Roman woman or performed Christian marriages despite prohibitive Roman law (sound familiar?) into a money-making opportunity. There's no definitive story for this particular 'saint' and much like St. Christopher, Valentine's actual existence is often called into question. Like most modern Western holidays, I regard Valentine's Day as a shameless grab at consumers' money. If you are lucky enough to have a special person in your life, it shouldn't take a special day for you to do or buy something to show how much you love them. And the possibly horrific murder of a 3rd Century priest really shouldn't make one bit of difference.
If we're talking murder and mayhem, this is more my style:
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