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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Feast of St. Valentine inspires celebration of holiday’s true meaning

Courtesy Photo | Elisa Stocking
Elisa Stocking has a tradition of hosting a Galentine’s celebration each year to continue celebrating all things related to love.

Love is in the air, but it is not the kind you are thinking of. While most people cringe when stores start setting out the red hearts, seasonal chocolate and cheesy stuffed teddy bears, I feel childlike excitement for Valentine’s Day because of the true meaning behind the holiday.

My family and I celebrate the Feast of St. Valentine every Feb. 14. This is the origin of the holiday, dreaded by the modern world. Since very little is known about St. Valentine, there are many different legends regarding his life.

In some legends, he is a priest while in others, he is a bishop, and both of which could be historic accounts of the same person. At this point no one knows. What we do know is that St. Valentine was martyred under Roman rule.

According to the most common legend, as told by website Britannica, St. Valentine officiated Christian marriages in secret and wrote letters of encouragement to these couples, sometimes from his prison cell. One instance in particular is when St. Valentine sent a letter to his jailer’s daughter, whom he healed from blindness, and signed it “from your Valentine.”

Legend or not, St. Valentine is remembered for promoting unconditional love among others, and his feast day encourages telling our loved ones how much they mean to us.

I did not grow up around the commercialized version of the holiday. I was homeschooled, so I never had to give away cheap valentines to classmates. However, as I got into high school, I noticed the negative effects from its commercialization.

I watched my friends look with envy upon couples who doted on each other for the day. Between the expensive flowers and assorted chocolates, I could not find that unconditional love I knew the holiday was about.

After watching the Parks and Recreation episode, “Galentine’s Day,” I knew I needed to fill this gap by helping my friends see that they did not need a significant other to celebrate Valentine’s Day because the people they were supposed to celebrate were already there for them.

I love combining my appreciation for St. Valentine’s Feast Day with celebrating lady friends over waffles, personalized gifts and games that get my friends laughing. In fact, when I received a text this January asking, “When is Galentine’s this year?” I realized I may be helping to bring back to real meaning of Valentine’s Day.

To my single readers, I know you still have special people in your life. Every time you see a cheesy ad or an annoying couple post on social media, instead of shaking your fist at this “useless holiday,” take that time to text one person how much you appreciate them.

At the end of the day, you probably will have texted everyone you love in your contact list. You probably made their day and that is genuinely something to celebrate.

St. Valentine knew unconditional love was something to die for. So, for those with a romantic partner, do not waste this day doing things you feel “required” to do. Take this as a your sign to have a genuine conversation with your love about your deep appreciation and affection for them.

Choose this amazing holiday that celebrates the compassion and courage necessary for love to reach out to your loved ones.

About the Contributor
Elisa Stocking
Elisa Stocking, Staff Writer
Elisa Stocking is a senior communication major. Elisa is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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