left biblioblography: Some Lonely Hearts Clubs Think They Have A Prayer?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Some Lonely Hearts Clubs Think They Have A Prayer?

Cross posted @ God is for Suckers!

llama-sutra2 I stumbled across this the other day, and it tickled my funny bone just a little.

St Valentine 'not saint of love'

If roses won't do the trick, try Saint Raphael suggests the Catholic Church

Britain's Roman Catholic Church is advising lovelorn singles to direct their 14 February requests for love to St Raphael, rather than St Valentine.

Over the years St Valentine has come incorrectly to be associated with finding love, the Church says.

Personally, I'd have to say that there isn't any 'saint' for love, as they were all deluded (if benign) folks, that is if they weren't adopted or co-opted from other mythologies.

And the answers.com version is telling:

The origins of Valentine's Day, like the origins of love itself, are somewhat obscure — a combination of myth, history, destiny, chance and marketing.

Legend has it that a certain third-century priest named Valentine persisted in performing marriage ceremonies despite a ban by the Roman emperor Claudius II (Claudius was persuaded that single men made better soldiers for his army). Thrown into jail, Valentine formed a relationship with his jailor's daughter (some say he cured her blindness) and he signed his last message to her "From your Valentine," a phrase which still gets a lot of mileage.

St. Valentine was executed on February 14, circa the year 270, and his remains (probably his, but there were two other Christian martyrs called Valentine) are now on display in the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin.

There are also reports of an ancient pagan custom that took place in preparation for the Roman festival of Lupercalia, which started February 15. The names of the town's maidens would be collected and then drawn at random by the local bachelors; in this fashion couples were paired off for the year.

Third, medieval Europeans thought February 14 was the date on which the birds started to mate. (There's no record of when the bees started.) From "Parlement of Foules," a poem by Chaucer:
"for this was on seynt Volantynys day/ Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his mate.

While this is a fairly borderline 'holiday', I think it is symptomatic of the invidious nature of religion. I have spoken before of this  - and so we have a Hallmark holiday with religious overtones.

The final part of the original article says this:

Spiritual networks

Those hoping for divine intervention to help their love lives may well appreciate the correction in target for their prayers, but Miss Ward also had some more advice.

"There is a lot of evidence to suggest that young people who have tapped into prayer groups have found partners," she said.

"Those who have exhausted traditional routes like online dating should try spiritual networks.

"Why not come along to a prayer group - it could be your lucky night."

 Hmmm...the pickup lines that spring to mind! "Hey, kneel here often?" "Hey, which bible version are you using?" And of course, the audience selects as the number 1 pickup line at a personals prayer meeting (drum roll please)...."So, while you're down there, wouldja do me a favor?"

Till the next post, then.

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