Kenapa sih perayaan hari valentine jadi pro & kon ? Ada yang mengharamkan karena prakteknya sudah ‘nyeleneh’ dari pengertian awalnya. Mungkin ada baiknya kita simak kisah sejarah dibalik perayaan hari valentine. Paling tidak membantu kita menjelaskan ke teman-teman dan kerabat untuk memahami arti pengorbanan St Valentinus dan esensi cinta yang universal.
FYI Dalam daftar orang kudus ada dua santo Valentinus yang meninggal dianiaya oleh kaisar yang sama pada jaman yang sama.
Santo Valentinus, Martir
Daftar para martir Roma menetapkan dua orang Santo Valentinus. Valentinus pertama adalah seorang imam yang disiksa dan dianiaya pada tahun 269 pada masa penganiayaan umat-umat Kristen Roma oleh Kaisar Klaudius (268-270). Hukuman mati diterimanya pada tanggal 14 Februari. Valentinus ini dimakamkan di jalan Flaminia. Di jalan ini dibangunlah sebuah basilik pada tahun 350 untuk menghormati dia.
Valentinus kedua adalah seorang Uskup dari Terni, sebuah dusun kecil di bagian Utara kota Roma. Beliau juga mengalami nasib yang sama. Ia disiksa dan dianiaya hingga mati pada masa penganiayaan umat Kristen Roma oleh kaisar Klaudius pada tahun 269.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Valentine. I lived in Rome during the third century. That was long, long ago! At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. I didn’t like Emperor Claudius, and I wasn’t the only one! A lot of people shared my feelings.
Did I mention that I was a priest? One of my favorite activities was to marry couples. Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, I kept on performing marriage ceremonies — secretly, of course. It was really quite exciting. Imagine a small candlelit room with only the bride and groom and myself. We would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers.
One night, we did hear footsteps. It was scary! Thank goodness the couple I was marrying escaped in time. I was caught. (Not quite as light on my feet as I used to be, I guess.) I was thrown in jail and told that my punishment was death.
I tried to stay cheerful. And do you know what? Wonderful things happened. Many young people came to the jail to visit me. They threw flowers and notes up to my window. They wanted me to know that they, too, believed in love.
One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit me in the cell. Sometimes we would sit and talk for hours. She helped me to keep my spirits up. She agreed that I did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and going ahead with the secret marriages. On the day I was to die, I left my friend a little note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. I signed it, “Love from your Valentine.”
I believe that note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine’s Day. It was written on the day I died, February 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. And when they think of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to stand in the way of love, and they laugh — because they know that love can’t be beaten!