The legend of the First Valentine Cards!
There are some who say that Saints led exemplary and infallible lives. Others would say that despite their miracles saints were just as human as anyone else… The fates seem to have a sense of black humor when they want to remind this that we do not know everything. Many of us, religious or otherwise still do not seem to understand this.
What starts with good intentions may go awry or become a footnote in a vast dream of garbled conflicting information. However some things may also be in plain sight if one knows where to look…
Long ago somewhere in Rome there stood a small modest stone church. The local priest there was named "Valentine."
Now once every year there was a day upon which a certain God was worshiped. On that day lovers were allowed to spend the day together however they wished. Now Valentine was greatly disturbed by this day for it seemed like the perfect excuse for young couples to have children out of wedlock. Valentine spent many hours pondering ways to remedy what he saw as a sure fire ticket to damnation.
He seems to have missed the point that from the view of those who are not Christian death was certainly not something to look forward to. After all once you cross the river to the underground realm of the god Hades it did not matter if you had done good or evil in life. You would still be trapped for eternity in a cold barren place guarded by a giant three headed dog that ate souls.
Somewhere in a large mystical forest a being with the most beautiful eyes all time watched the festivals, the feasting, and the affects of a day dedicated to one of her fellow's.
Seeing the plight of this man and wanting to set a positive example in the world of mortals the being went to earth. This female occupant of Olympus possessed supreme beauty, supernatural powers, and a critical role in the balancing forces of the universe at the time.
Meanwhile Valentine's right hand was on his wrinkled brow as he began to feel helpless. Then Valentine got onto his knees and prayed.
He said "Oh righteous father please send me a message so that I might save many from sin and degradation. I ask of you Almighty Lord to give me guidance so that I might prevent the promiscuity of those who are not of my flock. So that they might repent of their sins and join my worship of you, the heavenly creator of the universe! Amen!"
Suddenly there came a burst of white light and after it had subsided, a beautiful woman appeared in its place she spoke in a loud voice "you have asked for advice from above and so you shall have it!"
Valentine leapt into the air and grinned with joy and relief. He then spoke "The Almighty has sent me a perfect and beautiful angel to aid me in my holy work. May our Lord be worshiped for all time!" The man was so happy and relieved that he didn't notice that his visitor was stirring at him in disbelief.
A supernatural being before Valentine thought 'how nearsighted is this man? Can he not see that I am the Goddess Aphrodite? I represent love, lust, and beauty in all its forms. Still this man seems so pitiful that it would be impossible for me to disappoint him. So for today I shall be an angel!'
Aphrodite then interrupted the priest's thoughts "If you wish to stop this day's vice then keep the minds of youth on something besides their physical desires."
Valentine shrugged and replied "But what thing could possibly keep unmarried youths from expressing their dark desires?"
Aphrodite looked the priest in the eye and then responded "there are far tamer ways for the young to express their feelings for each other. Such as a written expression of faithful devotion to each other, their love to each other, their joy at being together!"
Valentine was momentarily puzzled and asked "What do you mean love for each other?"
Aphrodite smiled fondly answered "Unlike you I know love; I have someone very dear to me. My lover is one who hunts in a forest."
Valentine was lost in thought for a moment when he relaxed something. Valentine stared at her for a moment and said "but what would such a document as the one you mentioned earlier look like?"
Aphrodite replied "like this!"
The Goddess raised her hands from which to pink bubbles of energy emerged. The bubbles then disappeared and in their place there were two envelopes made of papyrus.
The envelopes then went into the hands of Valentine.
Aphrodite then shouted "have youths write their feelings on parchment to be placed in the containers made of papyrus!"
Valentine said "Oh thank you O wonderful perfect angel, I shall do as you say!"
Aphrodite then disappeared in a white flash of light secure in the knowledge that she had done her good deed for the decade. She appeared back in the forest. Then Aphrodite noticed Artemis chasing a wild boar that had entered her forest domain. Artemis looked at Aphrodite with a knowing smile and said "I would assume that you made that mortal happy?"
Aphrodite replied" Yes his plea has been answered."
"Good than why don't you join in the hunt?" Artemis responded.
"I would love to my dear" grinned Aphrodite.
They then went off after the boar smiling in content.
St. Valentine's cards became very popular amongst the teenagers in Rome. Eventually this card concept would be repeated in recent times. However it would be far more about profits than love of any kind.