Every year, the fourteenth day of the month of February has millions across the world presenting their loved ones with candy, flowers, chocolates and other lovely gifts. In many countries, restaurants and eateries are seen to be filled with couples who are eager to celebrate their relationship and the joy of their togetherness through delicious cuisines. There hardly seems to be a young man or woman who is not keen to make the most of the day.
While the history of Valentine's Day is sometimes debated, it clearly links back to a Catholic saint named St. Valentine.The problem is there are actually three St. Valentine's -- one a priest, one a bishop, and little is known about the third. All were martyrs.In 469 A.D., Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14 a day to honor St. Valentine, one of these three men.
One legend says that a Roman emperor banned soldiers from marrying in the third century, but St. Valentine took issue with this. He became an advocate for soldiers and was executed as a result of his outspokenness.
Another legend says St. Valentine was executed for his beliefs in Christianity and just before he died, he left a farewell note for a loved one and signed it "From Your Valentine."
A conventional and widely accepted belief about the holiday itself is that Valentine's Day grew out of a Middle Ages tradition of celebrating Feb. 14 as the day "the birds began to pair."
"By her who is this month was
born No gem save garnets shall be worn They will ensure her
constancy True friendship and fidelity."
The warm, bright garnet stands in contrast to this cold month. Garnet brings to
those born in January friendship, loyalty and sincerity, and the stone is said
to have the power to ensure good health and protect its owner during travel.
Garnets have been known to Man for thousands of years.
Noah, it is said, used a garnet lantern to help him steer his ark through the
dark night. Garnets are also found in jeweler from early Egyptian, Greek and
Roman times. Many an early explorer and traveler liked to carry a garnet with
him, for the garnet was popular as a talisman and protective stone, as it was
believed to light up the night and protect its bearer from evil and disaster.
The garnet continues to be the protective gem of journeyers. A gift of garnet
is thought to be symbolic of love and the desire for a loved one's safe travel
and speedy homecoming. It is January's birthstone, but far from being only a
winter gem, the garnet, with its brilliance and multitude of colors, is truly
one for any season.
The New Year is the time of unfolding horizons and the realization of dreams, may you rediscover new strength and garner faith with you, and be able to rejoice in the simple pleasures that life has to offer and put a brave front for all the challenges that may come your way. Wishing you a lovely New Year.