Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many countries. In the United States we celebrate with the exchange of tokens of affection and cards. Most countries celebrate February 14 as Valentine’s Day but the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates in July.
Originally, Valentine’s Day was celebrated as the Feast of St. Valentine to honor a group of priests named Valentine. There are many legends about St. Valentine. And there were many writings about Valentine in early history.
Bishop Demetri of the Orthodox Research Institute states that "St. Valentine was a priest near Rome in about the year 270 A.D, a time when the church was enduring great persecution. His ministry was to help the Christians to escape this persecution, and to provide them the sacraments, such as marriage, which was outlawed by the Roman Empire at that time." (Demetri, Bishop (12 February 1999) The Feast of Valentine. Orthodox Research Institute. http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/fasts_feasts/demetri_khoury_st_valentine.htm.)
An addition to the legend says when he was a prisoner, he healed his jailer’s daughter who was blind. They became friends and when he was executed he left a message for her that said “Your Valentine.” (The History of Valentine’s Day, history.com)
And so the tradition begins. In early times giving “Valentines” was about sharing original poems and lacy hand-made messages that were delivered in person or by messenger. By the 19th century cards were beginning to be mass produced and mailed. Today, mostly children celebrate with hand-made valentines for Mom and Dad or by exchanging cards with their classmates.
At the Center for Lifelong Learning, we will celebrate Valentine’s Day with an event called Spoon and Croon. On a day when romance is in the air, nothing will warm more than love songs sung the way they were meant to be. Jack Sauers will recreate some of the best loved tunes by Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin and Dean Martin. Bring your best friend or your best beau for a “Spoon and Croon” soup and sandwich luncheon in the Ballroom of the Sandridge Student Center at Athens State University’s main campus. The fee is $13 for singles or $25 couples. Registration by February 11th is requested. You can register online at www.athens.edu/CLL or you can call 256-233-8260 and talk with Diane or Wanda.
Other programs at the Center include the Lunch and Learn Series – Losing It!. Keep your new year resolution by learning about lifestyle change and weight management in the four-week series. Starting with Lifestyle Change on January 30 and ending with Why Exercise? There is a wealth of information to help you stay on track. Bring your lunch or pick up a snack at the UnderGrounds Coffee Shop. Classes are Wednesdays, January 30 – February 20, 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Fee is $5 per session.
For businesses in our community we are offering another Lunch and Learn. Lunch and Learn OSHA Compliance will introduce you to OSHA requirement and give you a roadmap to compliance that will help you avoid costly worker injuries and OSHA fines. The program is scheduled Thursday, February 7th, 11:30 to 1:00. Fee is $15/person. Please reserve space by February 4th.
Stop by the Center for Lifelong Learning to find more classes. Learning is a lifestyle.
By: Wanda Campbell