February 14 was St. Valentines Day. Usually I spurn these “made for Hallmark” cultural holidays, finding them to be silly and sappy. It doesn’t mean I don’t observe it with my husband. But we don’t buy “stuff”. We usually just try to have a nice candle lit meal or some good wine and conversation—just to break the daily routine of passing like ships in the night.
So imagine my surprise when I heard that St. Valentine has been associated with bees. Some call him the Patron Saint of Bees, charged with ensuring the sweetness of honey and the protection of beekeepers.
Who really was St. Valentine?
St. Valentine was a Christian martyr who died in the 2nd c. The roots of Valentine’s Day date back to the year 496, when Pope Gelasius proclaimed that February 14 would be the feast day of St. Valentine of Rome, taking precedence over Lupercalia—a pagan Roman fertility festival long-celebrated February 13-15.https://www.heifer.org/join-the-conversation/blog/2016/February/st-valentine-patron-saint-of-beekeepers.html
I must admit, if we poured our millions of consumer dollars spent on goofy stuffed animals and roses for Valentines Day into research for what ails the Bees —we’d be a lot further ahead. Cultural sacred cows blind us to what really matters.
So, well, St. Valentines Day has been reclaimed a little bit for me.
I think next year I’ll send money I would’ve used for a bottle of wine to the Bee research center in Minneapolis, MN.
Here’s to a little bee love…