Newsletter Archive

 The Month With the Heart

On February 14th. we will celebrate Valentine's Day.  It is also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine.  It is considered a "Hallmark" celebration.  The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that about 190 million valentines are sent each year in the United States.  When the valentine exchange cards made in school activities are included, the figure goes up to 1 billion.  The rise of internet popularity has created new traditions.  Millions of people use digital means of creating and sending Valentine's Day greetings such as e-cards, love coupons, or printable greeting cards. 

There are many theories on how Valentine's Day began, but the most noted one begins in Rome in the year 268 AD.  Emperor Claudius II wanted a fierce team of young men to fight in his armies.  To insure large numbers of soldiers for his armies, Claudius outlawed marriage for those young men.  He found that when young men are in love or sharing their lives with a wife and children, they tended to be more cautious.  While he outlawed love, he could not prevent it.  Young men and women fell in love and wanted to be married in the eyes of the church.  Saint Valentine was a  clergyman-either a priest or a bishop- in the Roman Empire and thought the law was terribly unjust. He secretly performed marriage ceremonies.  Word of his secret ceremonies eventually got back to Claudius.  Valentine was caught, imprisoned and tortured.  There are legends surrounding Valentine's actions while in prison.  A man called Asterius was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time and whose daughter was blind.  According to an early tradition, Saint Valentine restored the sight of the blind daughter.  In 269AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation, all because of his stand for Christian marriage.  The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius' daughter, signing it, "from your Valentine".  He was executed on February 14th.

The Feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honor of Saint Valentine of Rome.  During the 14th and 15th centuries, the day became associated with romantic love, when notions of courtly love flourished, apparently by association with the "lovebirds" of early spring.  In 18th century England, it became an occasion for couples to express their love for each other by giving flowers, candy and sending valentine cards.

There are many legends associated with Valentine's Day.  It is not a public holiday, but  it is celebrated world-wide as a symbol of love.  In 1868, the British chocolate company Cadbury created fancy boxes of chocolate in the shape of a heart for Valentine's Day.  In the second half of the 20th century, the practice of exchanging cards was extended to all manner of gifts.....candy, flowers, and jewelry.  In 2020, the average valentine's spending in the United States was projected to be $221.34 on gifts. 

We would like to suggest you consider a copy of our "Cherub" for your valentine!  This little statue was photographed in my garden in front of a pot filled with Fairy Fan-Flowers, also known as Scaevola.  This plant is native to southern Australia and can be found with pink, white or blue-purple flowers.  It is a tough plant, and perfect for Florida in that it thrives in humidity and heat.  It does well in containers and is an important source of nectar for butterflies.

The Cherub image above is available in table top to wall size, triple matted and with or without a frame.  The matted versions are yours at a 10% discount and the framed matted versions in sizes 11x14 and larger can be yours at a 15% discount.

Visit our website, for available sizes and prices.

Stop by and see us on Monday through Friday from 10a.m. to 12 noon and 2p.m. to 5p.m.

The gallery is open for arranged Saturday appointments.  Call us at 904-387-8710 to schedule your special visit.  Come see us and order now.

"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies"