A couple of comic strips went for Valentine’s Day humor today, one contemporary and one classic. The contemporary strip was Frazz by Mallett, where one saint’s day leads to another.
But it was good old Charlie Brown that reminded us of the real (unrequited) heart of the season with this classic take on the legends of the holiday.
C. C. Pecknold wrote up a nice and succinct post about the origins of today’s holiday. From this piece over at First Things:
Among the legends associated with the priest who was martyred in 269 for proclaiming the Gospel, was his habit of performing clandestine Christian marriages. This legend alone associated him with marital love, and happy marriages, of which he is patron. The medieval tradition of courtly love develops on this basis, including the tradition of sending secret notes. Much invention, but all of it springs from a simple truth about a man who most certainly did exist, and who bore witness to God’s love as the proper bond between a man and a woman.
Whatever one thinks about the day that bears his name—so unjustly desacralized, in my opinion—it seems fitting that this day still retains a memory of a love which is hidden, and unseen, and which has been made visible in Christ’s sacrifice, to whose image Valentine was perfectly conformed as a martyr.