The identity and story of Saint Valentine is subject to debate: the Catholic church recognizes up to 3 men of that name martyred for their faith. Feb. 14 may have been chosen as the feast day for love and romance in an attempt to Christianize the pagan Lupercalia fertility celebrations on Feb. 15.
In North America, Valentine’s Day ranks
2nd for volume of seasonal greeting cards sold [after Christmas] (cf. Greeting Card Association)
2nd most popular holiday for eating out [after Mother’s Day] (cf. National Restaurant Association)
3rd for sales of fresh flowers and plants [after Christmas and Mother’s Day] (cf. aboutflowers.com)
4th highest for candy sales [after Halloween, Easter and Christmas] (cf. National Confectioner’s Association).
May the hearts and flowers and chocolates abounding on this date remind us not only of romance, but of the great theme of love in the Bible: love for God, our neighbour and our enemies, and Jesus’ great love for us.
“But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed his powerful love to us in a tangible display – the Anointed One died for us” Romans 5:8 (The Voice).