Understanding Valentine’s Day (Part 1)

By Uche Amunike

It’s another season of love and the atmosphere is not really as bubbly as it used to be. Can’t tell if it is as a result of the present Covid-19 pandemic or the economic situation of things in our dear country.

In any case, Valentine Day is a day that means so many different things to so many different people. I got feelers from my friends and colleagues on their thoughts about this special day and found their responses really interesting. Kindly read…

Dr Henry Duru

Lecturer, Mass Communication Department,

Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

To me as a Catholic, Valentine’s Day is first, a religious event. It’s a day for celebration of young married couples in the spirit of the sacrifice and martyrdom of St. Valentine who was killed under Emperor Claudius for protecting the right of Roman soldiers to matrimony. So from that point of view, it is a day for celebrating the awesomeness of matrimonial love.

However, as can be seen, the day has now also become one for unmarried lovers to celebrate as well. But more praiseworthy is the fact that many people have come to see the day as one for showing love to their neighbours irrespective of their relationship with them. In other words, it has become a day for promoting philanthropy.

This for me is the greatest significance 14th February can have, especially at this time when economic crises and all sorts of social destabilization have left many people needing help. So I will advocate that people use the day to extend a hand of love to others, especially those in peculiar needs.

Then, as someone born on February 14, the day has become even more significant to me. It offers me a unique opportunity to meditate on love as the essence of life, to contemplate on giving and sacrifice as the ultimate virtue as we continue to search for the meaning of the life given to us.

Hon Maureen Stone Enujioke.

OAP, Anambra Broadcasting Service Awka

SA (Media) to the Executive Governor of Anambra State

Valentine’s Day is a special day in Christendom and means different things to different people, even though some people don’t really observe the day, while some who do, see it as a day to commit different atrocities and celebrate LOVE with reckless abandon, thereby losing the very essence of the day.

It’s a day to look out for the have-nots and show them love. To me, St Valentine’s Day is Love and Love is St Valentine’s Day and in the spirit of St Valentine’s Day, it behooves on us to keep fanning the embers of love just as the Patron Saint – St Valentine did. First,

I shall be spending the early part of the day in Church (since it falls on a Sunday) and thereafter with my Family. Every day is Valentine’s Day for people who really appreciate the very meaning of LOVE. As we celebrate the day, let’s do it responsibly!

Tony Okafor

Anambra State Correspondent,

Punch Newspaper.

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. It is like any other day to me. No special attachment to it. Anything goes.

Prince Emeka Kalu.

National Vice President (S/E),

Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU).

I do not think couples, whose new babies come on February 14th, are certain, no matter how they targeted the date. So, it seems to me, a special Grace, to be born on the exact February 14th St. Valentine (Lovers) Day and I am surrounded by wonderful friend who was born on the 13th and my amiable wife, who was born on February 15th.

Feeling everything special about each day, I see Valentine Day as a day of exceptional love for oneself and everybody around. There’s also a salient angle to Val’s day. It is a day that finds everybody busy indoors or hanging out at choice spots with the utmost desire for intimate privacy with loved ones, so most people hardly have time to do things that won’t give them direct pleasures on that day because they already had plans.

To many who have spent money on their crushes, they believe it’s payback time. Because my life is already devoted to charity and humanitarianism, everyday in my apostolate life is for love and positive intervention to the poor, needy and downtrodden in the society and that is exactly what I will do also on St. Valentine Day.

Major Henry Okoroafor

United States Army.

Valentine is a celebration of Love. It was named after a few Christian martyrs about 270 CE. One of those was Bishop Terni of the Roman Empire who defied orders and married couples to prevent the husbands from being sent to war. It is for this reason that the feast represents love.

I can perfectly relate to this. First, I am Catholic and understand the doctrine and practices very well, as well as the challenges the church had to deal with back then in curbing the excesses of the Emporial rulers of Rome. I am also a U.S. Soldier who on the contrary had been sent to war, while my wife took care of our home. So my wife and I fit into this feast perfectly.

Valentine’s Day to me is not about gifts because I don’t follow trends. I do things because they come from my heart. So every day that I am able to spend time at home with my family is a valentine day for me. I don’t fault those who only see the commercial aspect of it either because everyone understands situations differently.

For me it’s about cherishing the moment, going back in time to reflect on how far my wife and I have made it – (20 years in a few months). We reflect on the tough times and we enjoy the moment, while talking through our way ahead by God’s grace.

On the 14th, I will be cooking a special meal I used to make for my wife when we started dating. It’s a ritual I do every year when I am at home with my family.

Ngozi Ikegwuoha

Fontana,

United States of America

Though history has many different excerpts on the story of Valentine’s Day, we all accept that it originated from a Saint named Valentine. In all these stories, we know one thing for sure: it’s all about ‘love’. Though, through the years, the concept has been abused into an act of love strictly between the opposite sexes,

I believe it is supposed to be an act shown to each other, regardless of race, religion and most definitely just the opposite sex. My sweetest recollection of Valentine day was way back in University of Abuja, spent with my late best friend, Msurshima Deidre Akure. No dates, no light, no money.

So with the little cash we had, we bought candles, bread and sardines and ate it in the quiet of the empty hostel and reminisced on so many things that we went to sleep that night immensely happy. So, wherever you find yourself that day, around whosoever, try as much as possible to show love.

Onyejegbu Peter Chibuike.

PFVCO,

Ministry of Information & Public Enlightenment Awka )

Valentine’s Day comes up on the 14th February of every year all over the world.

It is usually a day set aside to remember the death of St. Valentine.

Though the Catholic Church recognizes about three different saints named Valentine, one thing we know is that they were known for being kind and died for LOVE. One of them was St. Valentine of great ancient Rome who was recorded of have healed a child while imprisoned and was executed by decapitation.

In a nutshell, there is need for us to remind our youths of the main aim of the season which is LOVE. Love in terms of taking care of the needy, visiting as well as giving gifts to prisoners, praying for them, helping in taking out our youths off the street by helping them learn a trade, helping out in paying their school fees. Etc.

In fact if one average man and woman decide to take at least one youth off the street, by placing him or her well in a particular trade, poverty will be completely eradicated from our society. I have personally started helping out in my own little way since I will be attending my first family meeting of the year on the 14th day of February 2021.

DJ Stazzy

Anambra Broadcasting Service, Awka

It’s just a normal day to me. I take it like any other day. People should think of how to make money. On that day, I will go to church, come back and rest!

Dear readers, while I wish you all a beautiful Valentine’s Day, remember, whatever you do, there are people out there who really need to be shown love. Reach out to them in any way you can. Love can’t be real if it doesn’t make one happy. Do spread the love around. Love is the reason for this day, remember??? Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

To be concluded next week.

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