~ all the little things that make each day a miracle ~

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

Romeo and Juliet by Sir Frank Dicksee (1884)

Sonnet 116
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
~William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

Valentine's Day began during the Roman Empire. Juno, the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses, was honored on February 14th in ancient Rome. Juno was also known as the Goddess of women and marriage. February 15th was the Feast of Lupercalia. Boys and girls were segregated during this time in history, but name-drawing, on the eve of Lupercalia, paired children for a year. Often, these pairs would fall in love and, later, marry.

Rome was involved in many bloody battles, under the rule of Emperor Claudius II, also known as Claudius the Cruel. Claudius was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his armies because the Roman men did not want to leave their beloveds or families. Because of this, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements.

Saint Valentine was a priest in Rome during this time. He helped Christian martyrs and married couples secretly. Saint Valentine was captured and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to death. He was clubbed to death and beheaded. His martyrdom occurred on February 14, 270 A. D.

Early Christian pastors in Rome attempted to substitute saints' names for those of maidens and changed Lupercalia to Saint Valentine's Day. The custom of young men choosing maidens for valentines, or saints as patrons for the coming year, thus came about.

Here is what I learned about love today:
God has given me a devoted husband who is the joy of my life.
God has protected one dear daughter on her Valentine's Day trip to Rome.
He has given me the chance to spend tomorrow evening catching up with another precious daughter while shopping for a dress for her upcoming solo recital at her university.
He has blessed me with a son who called to invite me to Mother's Day weekend at his university.
He has given me time to relax and enjoy reading two chapters of The Courage of Sarah Noble to my youngest four children.
He has blessed my family with the upcoming birth of our first grandchild and the anticipation of watching a dear daughter and son-in-law grace this precious blessing with their loving care.
He has given me time and energy to comfort and tend to a sweet, athletic son who is ill, and who appreciated a Valentine teddy bear holding a football more than I would have imagined.
He has surrounded me with friends and family who inspire and edify.
He has arranged things so that I might see my darling mother and amazing sister this weekend.
He has given me a teenage daughter who just hung a family game night schedule on the frig which instructed us to bring "games, soda, and happiness" to the event.
He has given me the time to watch a fine son (attending yet another college!) sketch an amazing drawing while teaching his youngest sister about chiaroscuro.
He has given me music in my home - tonight, some lovely Texas Western fiddle and Welsh harp pieces.
He has given me a daughter who, even after becoming a leader in business and a diplomat with a heart of gold, continues to take her role as eldest daughter and sister most seriously.
I learned that love is counting my blessings, naming them one by one, and being filled with gratitude.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and your beloved(s)!


Jody said...


srp said...

So wonderfully put.. God has blessed us with the example of ultimate and unsurpassable love in the form of His Son.

You reminded me of one of my favorite hymns:

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Miz S said...

Bonnie Belle, what a nice VD post. HA! "VD"

Oh, sorry.

Big Dave T said...

Thanks for the history. I'd always thought Valentine's Day was concocted by FTD, Hallmark and Russell Stover. Now that I know that this holiday was borne of violence and bloodshed, I as a man have more respect for it. Kinda like Veteran's Day, or Bastille Day.

Gail said...

A lovely post, I bet I can name your blessings one by one!
Happy Valentine's Day. (alittle late)

vicki said...

His generosity knows no bounds! And we all benefit from the trickle down effect as you share your love and blessings with us.

With more than half your brood out and working their wonders on the world (and vice versa) you must be especially grateful for the time you have with your four eager listeners.

You make me smile- and the comments here, between Roxanne's hymn,
Miz S tittering in the back row and your devoted fan, Big Dave-well, they make this an even richer read. Thanks.

Margaret said...

Dear Bonnie--or should I say Maman and Memee, you are truly blessed. And so are we to have you as a friend.

Melanie said...

How blessed you are! Happy belated Valentine's Day!

Beverly said...

How wonderful to have so many valentines! You are blessed indeed, and so am I by having found your wonderful spot here on the web.

MSUgal86 said...

You are truly blessed indeed!

On the history, (or hearsay)... didn't Valentine, the priest, fall in love with a married woman which caused all the commotion? I could be wrong!

raehan said...

That's a heck of a lot of blessings, Bernadette!

And now I feel blessed by them, too.

I had a GREAT valentine's day with my beloved(s).

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Good shtuff, BonBon. Sehr gut.

Big Dave T said...

Yeah, congrats on the big win last night (in East Lansing of course). You should squeak into the NCAAs with that one.

Don't know if you're a student of Big Ten sports or just a Spartan cheerleader, but the sports pundits on-the-street here figure MSU will continue to do better recruiting in our talent-rich state so long as Amaker remains coach in A2. Despite the fact that NIT Tommy looks blankly like he's on painkillers when his team's on the floor, the U of M won't consider replacing him since he runs a clean program.

Still, I'm looking forward to the Spartans leaving the womb in East Lansing and coming here. Should be a good one. My son (not the Spartan son) has tickets.

About Me

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I live on a forested mountain with my beloved husband and our large family. Less is more, except where children are concerned. My favorite pastimes are practicing yoga on my side deck, learning how to improvise on the cello, and boating into the Puget Sound with my sweetheart.