14th february (’22): Happy Valentine’s Day

Today is Valentine’s Day, the feast of lovers. How many still send letters to their lovers, in a world dominated by technology and hyperconnection?

It originated as a Christian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine and, through later folk traditions, has become a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.

There are a number of martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines connected to February 14, including an account of the imprisonment of Saint Valentine of Rome for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire in the third century. According to an early tradition, Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his jailer. Numerous later additions to the legend have better related it to the theme of love: an 18th-century embellishment to the legend claims he wrote the jailer’s daughter a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution; another tradition posits that Saint Valentine performed weddings for Christian soldiers who were forbidden to marry.

The day became associated with romantic love in the 14th and 15th centuries when notions of courtly love flourished, apparently by association with the “lovebirds” of early spring. In 18th-century England, it grew into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. In Italy, Saint Valentine’s Keys are given to lovers “as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart”, as well as to children to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine’s Malady).

Saint Valentine’s Day is not a public holiday in any country, although it is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church. Many parts of the Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day on July 6 in honor of Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and on July 30 in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni).

Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2022 SuperBowl final

The 56th edition of the Super Bowl took place between Sunday and Monday in Los Angeles, the final of the NFL American football championship and one of the most followed sporting events in the world. It was won by the Los Angeles Rams, the favorites, who beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in their stadium, as did Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year.

It was a hard-fought match, hanging in the balance until the last seconds of the game. Los Angeles had taken the lead in the first quarter with a touchdown from catcher Odell Beckham Jr. on a pass from quarterback Matthew Stafford. In the second quarter the Rams had scored another touchdown, this time with Cooper Kupp, previously voted best offensive player of the season.

Before the show at half-time, however, Cincinnati had managed to close the gap with a touchdown from Tee Higgins on a throw from quarterback Joe Burrow – 25 years old in his second season in the NFL – going to rest on 13-10 in favor of Los Angeles. In the third quarter, Cincinnati’s comeback had continued with another Higgins touchdown and a free-kick that had brought the result in their favor, 20-16.

In the last quarter, despite Odell Beckham Jr.’s absence due to injury and an ankle problem for Stafford, the Rams scored the decisive touchdown just over a minute from time, again with Kupp. In the next action, a tackle on Burrow by the best defender of the season, Aaron Donald, effectively ended the game and gave the victory in Los Angeles.

14th February (’22): Saints Cyril and Methodius

Cyril (born Constantine, 826–869) and Methodius (815–885) were two brothers and Byzantine Christian theologians and missionaries. For their work evangelizing the Slavs, they are known as the “Apostles to the Slavs”.

They are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe Old Church Slavonic. After their deaths, their pupils continued their missionary work among other Slavs. Both brothers are venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as saints with the title of “equal-to-apostles“. In 1880, Pope Leo XIII introduced their feast into the calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1980, Pope John Paul II declared them co-patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia.

♬ Coldplay X Selena Gomez – Let Somebody Go

LYRIC

We had that kind of love
I thought that it would never end
Oh, my lover, oh, my other, oh, my friend
We talked around in circles and
We talked around and then
I loved you to the moon and back again

You gave everything this golden glow
Now turn off all the stars ’cause this I know
That it hurts like so
To let somebody go

All the storms we weathered
Everything that we went through
Now, without you, what on earth am I to do?
When I called the mathematicians and I ask them to explain
They said love is only equal to the pain

And when everything was going wrong
You could turn my sorrow into song
Oh, it hurts like so
To let somebody go
To let somebody go
Oh-oh (oh-oh)
Oh-oh
(Let somebody, let somebody go) yeah

Oh, oh-oh (oh), when you love somebody (oh)
When you love somebody (oh)
Got to let somebody know
Oh, oh-oh (oh), when you love somebody (oh)
When you love somebody (oh)
Got to let somebody know
So, when you love somebody
When you love somebody

Then it hurts like so
To let somebody go
It hurts like so
To let somebody go

But you’re still with me, now I know
(Let somebody, let somebody go)
Oh-oh (let somebody, let somebody go)
But you’re still with me, now I know