It is a special day when we technically remember the burning at the stake of two Valentines in Rome. Valentine of Rome was a priest burned on the Via Flaminia about AD 269. (You can still see his toasted relics at the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome and at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland. Valentine of Terni was also burned on the Via Flaminia about AD 197. This led to the first rule of Valentine’s Day: if you are named Valentine, avoid Via Flaminia.
At some point, being burned at the stake reminded people of their marriages and relationships. It certainly does make flaming hearts more historically correct among Valentine cards and gifts.
It was Esther Howland in Worchester, England in 1847 who is given credit for commercializing the holiday with the Valentine card. Thank you Esther, though I still try to celebrate each Valentine Day with a barbecue and a nice chianti.
Leslie and I went out last night with friends for drinks and a comedy club (with a uniquely unfunny comedian). This morning we made heart-shaped red-died pancakes.