veeday

I’m sorry, couldn’t resist the pun in the post title. Still, you have to admit that it fits, right? 😅

So today is Valentine’s Day, the day when people celebrate love in all it’s forms. However, did you know that, until 1969, this day was actually celebrated as a feast day of St. Valentine? According to this Wikipedia article, it was removed from the General Roman Calendar on that year for the following reason: “Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14.”

In the same article, it mentions that there are actually two Valentines previously honored on this day: Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Both were clergymen martyred in Rome before Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire.

Strangely enough, the noggins of both Valentines have been given special attention by devotees. The flower-crowned skull of Valentine of Rome is exhibited in the Basilica of Santa Maria, while the head of Valentine of Terni was preserved in the abbey of New Minster, Winchester, and venerated. Fascinating, though a bit morbid, to be sure 💀

From historical trivia, let’s move on to a topic closer to our hearts: personal health. Whether having an exciting lunch out or a chill dinner at home, I’m sure some of us will be celebrating the day with food. According to this article on WebMD, we don’t necessarily have to avoid certain items that are usually part & parcel of the dining experience on this day. You can enjoy your chocolates, as long as it’s as “dark” or rich in real cocoa as possible, and red wine, which like cocoa, contains healthy flavonoids. But, like all things, they both should be enjoyed in moderation.

In the same article, another tip they give to improve heart health on Valentine’s Day is to enjoy the company of your loved ones. According to Blair Justice, PhD, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Texas School of Public Health, “The evidence is very strong that good relationships have health benefits.” In addition, Carol Rinkleib Ellison, PhD, author of Women’s Sexualities, says that the human touch can lower blood pressure, and illicit a sense of safety, connection, and comfort.

So yes, Valentine’s Day is more than a day for giving gifts & eating out. It has a rich history and, when celebrated properly, provides numerous health benefits. Happy Veeday everyone!