The celebration of Valentine’s day on every February 14 began as a result of the death of a Catholic Priest called St. Valentine who fought for the course of love-by secretly wedding single people who were in love.
Before his death, St. Valentine during the third century served in Rome when Empero Claudius the second decided that single men were better made soldiers than those with wives and families.
When Claudius discovered St. Valentine’s action of wedding single men and women, he ordered for him to be killed.
Highlighting the significance of Valentine’s day, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, the Most Reverend Calistus Valentine Onaga described the day as a plat form for people to express genuine love and not an occasion to practice premarital sex.
‘’I will advise young people who are getting married to take the whole celebration more serious, when I say I love you, mean it and have respect for the person. Then to husbands and wives do the same, that may be the day to renew the love you have for your partner.’’
Bishop Calistus Onaga further emphasised that in commemorating Valentine’s day, which epitomized love, the down trodden in the society such as the motherless babies, prison inmates and the aged men and women in old people’s homes need to be carried along since they deserve love.
In an interview with Radio Nigeria, a mother and General Manager Solid FM Enugu, Doctor Pat Obiageli urged youths to use the period of Valentine to develop their potentials and engage in programmes that would enhance their intellect for future challenges.
‘’There is usually no commitment from the erotic kind of things that happen on Valentine’s day, some would give up their virtues for nothing, some would just give up their body to someone who is virtually not serious. There will be so much heart break after Valentine’s Day.’’
A writer and publisher in Enugu, Mr. Uchenna Anioke noted that Valentine day celebration had lost its value as most people had the impression that the occasion was a time to acquire material gain.
Mr. Anioke advised that families should spend time together, make necessary resolutions and spice up love in their lives.
‘’Just to buy an ice cream is enough for the day. Just hang out, remembering what happened in the past, but most importantly being together on a day like that because am going to be around her all day, keep her company and take the children out and watch movies.’’
Some respondents expressed their feelings about the celebration.
‘’People should go to Motherless Babies Homes as a mark of love.’’
‘’It doesn’t actually mean having sex that day but most of the youths actually use the day for sex. You see a lot of them, they lose their virginity because a guy walks to them and tells them ‘’You are the true love of my life’’ and you see them give in.’’
It is the view of the respondents that government should make Valentine’s day a public holiday to enable families and intending couples to spend quality time with their loved ones.
BY EVELYN AWUNOR