St. Valentine tends to get his name cursed and misused quite often.
Sappy and beautifully, wonderfully inappropriate little cards run riot... er, are mailed in abundance- how nice that for once, I don't seem to be supporting the USPS single-handedly.- or are hand delivered.
But it's not just about making people uncomfortable, Hallmark getting money, or silk panties.
In third century Rome, abuses of power abounded. It was after Nero's reign, after Caligula, who may have been epileptic himself, and long after Marcus Aurelius, great speechmaker, in the second century- the second-last of the Nerva-Antoine Dynasty, whose steady hand on the wheel left an empire woefully unprepared for Commodus, a loose cannon.
The Valentines were early Christians who ran afoul because of their faith, and because they fought against marriage laws disallowing men of the soldiering age to marry. So, there's that love connection. Nothing as romantic as strobe lights, champagne, silky panties, or a sweet card. There was a festival of love, for Hera, not Venus, which involved swatting the person you adore and sounds a lot like the Polish Dyngus Day celebrations post Easter. Polonia, having been conquered by the Romans, might have simply taken Lupercalia, added a Christian spin, and kept the swatting. Just as we did with Lupercalia, but usually without swatting a boy or girl to say "I love you."
Unlike the information cited in this otherwise sparkling article on Atlas Obscura, the Valentines were not killed in the third century by Claudius. Well, not the Claudius most people think of... evidence might point to Claudius II, who died after 2 years on the Imperial Throne, of plague.
AtlasObscura: Curious Facts About Valentine's Day
This isn't a "Shout a lot, show people the original meaning", sort of post, not to end with.
In this case, I'm hoping to compile epilepsy related (Inappropriate cards, welcomed.)greeting card slogans.
"I'll bring the champagne, you bring the strobe light"- works for any day of the year.
"SEIZE the day"- sadly doesn't work with " Carpe diem." And Latin has wonderful, colorful phrases, like the loosely translated "I don't like the look of those sows' udders" and "The man who inspects the saddle blanket instead of the horse is stupid; most stupid is the man who judges another man by his clothes or his circumstances."
There are some,slogans that, "Have a sense of humor!" Aside, I couldn't bring myself to take past my brainstorm stage.
Due to the bee-keeper connection, a few honeys got bandied. As well as a "A plague on..."
I will be playing with ideas. Personally, I happen to like "A day for plague victims, lovers, dreamers, bee-keepers... and me".