Lovers and the greeting card industry have much to be thankful for when considering the origins of the tradition of St. Valentine's Day.
The first clear references occurred in the late 1300s in Europe, where a tradition relating to February 14 – St. Valentine's Day – was first linked to romantic love.
St. Valentine's Day is the day on which birds returned in the very early (northern hemisphere) Spring to choose their mates. (Spring was thought to occur earlier in the 14th century.) Although history books abound with references to Roman festivals from which St. Valentine's Day may derive, there is very little evidence of a connection between ancient pagan customs and the modern tradition of a day celebrating the love between two people.
Whether you observe Valentine's Day or not, with all the discordance in the world, it may be time to look at the true meaning of that simple four-letter-word: love.
1. A strong feeling of affection and concern toward another person, as that arising from kinship or close friendship.
2. A strong feeling of affection and concern for another person accompanied by sexual attraction.
a. A feeling of devotion or adoration toward God or a god.
b. A feeling of kindness or concern by God or a god toward humans.
c. often Love Christianity Charity.
a. Sexual desire or activity: the pleasures of love; a night of love.
b. An instance of being in love: Teenage loves can be as fleeting as they are intense.
a. A person for whom one has strong feelings of affection: She met her new love at the restaurant.
b. Used as a term of endearment for such a person.
6. An intense emotional attachment to something, as to a pet or treasured object.
7. An expression of one's affection: Send him my love.
a. A strong predilection or enthusiasm: a love of language; love for the game of golf.
b. The object of such an enthusiasm: The outdoors is her greatest love.
9. Love Mythology Eros or Cupid.
10. Sports A score of zero - as in tennis.
(Photo credit: www.thelovemark.org)