February 14 ~  A Serious Mental Disease Last Valentine

"Love is a serious mental disease." ~ Plato

purple lei of aloha St. Valentine might be the patron saint of lovers, but the facts about his life are as fuzzy as a stuffed teddy bear.

A martyr for the Church, he was either an Italian bishop or Roman priest who lived, perhaps, in A.D. 270 and was celebrated by Chaucer who wrote that "birds pair on St. Valentine's Day."

If birds can do it, so can humans. In displays of public affection, young people in the Middle Ages would draw by lot the names they'd written of possible mates.

By the 19th century, sending anonymous messages or cards to a secret love was the custom. Victorian Valentines of lace and imagination were works of art.

Mischievious Cupid--today's amorous mascot-- is the son of Venus and known as Eros in Greek mythology, the god of love and lust. A person struck by his golden arrow falls in love. The ancient Greeks believed Eros was the force behind all creation. "Love is a kind of warfare," Roman poet Ovid observed. Is that why cupid carries a bow with arrows?

Arrows or kisses, Hallmark or e-cards, candy, flowers or perfume... Scientist Albert Einstein once explained, "You can't blame gravity for falling in love."

Valentine's Day is the perfect time to celebrate affection, friendship, and love. As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, "All mankind loves a lover." Here's wishing you a heart filled with love and a lei of aloha today...

More LOVE Quotations

Head or heart? Love is a powerful thing.