Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and many of us use this time of year to think about our loved ones – spouses, family, friends … anyone of whom we want to send a little love.
The true origins of Valentine’s Day are not set in stone, as facts have become muddled throughout the centuries.
History tells us that during the end of the third century, a Roman priest named Valentine went against the wishes of Emperor Claudius II and married lovers in secret.
The Roman Empire was in desperate need of soldiers and Claudius believed that single men were better candidates for the position thus creating the ban on marriage.
Eventually, Valentine was imprisoned, beheaded and later named a martyr by the Catholic Church because he gave up his life for the sacrament of marriage. The Ides of February, or middle of the month, is when his execution took place; thus becoming the time when to celebrate that love had triumphed over all.
Greetings for this day of love can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Written Valentines began to appear around the 1400s. Americans, it seems, began to exchange hand-made tokens of love in the mid-1700s.
The “Mother of the Valentine”, Esther A. Howland, was the first person to sell mass-produced valentines decorated with lace, ribbons, and pictures, known as “scrap” in the 1840s, according to The History Channel.
As improvements in printing emerged, hand-written cards were replaced. It became easier and cheaper to buy a card from a store expressing the perfect sentiments of love.
In 1913, Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Missouri, began mass-producing Valentine greetings. In addition to cards, flowers and candy became traditional gifts to share.
So what makes love last?
Two couples that have been married 53 years each shared advice that helped their marriages surpass the half-century mark.
Ronald and Elaine Callais of Galliano strongly believe that marriage consists of three people: God, husband, and wife. They feel that their lives together are a work in progress.
“Couples must always work at marriage and nip small problems in the bud before they turn into insurmountable issues,” said Elaine.
“Newlyweds shouldn’t expect to have everything right off. Young couples must work hard to get the things their parents have,” Ronald said.
Ronald and Elaine have five children: Gavin, Bruce, Lee, Abdon, and Reneé. While they were growing up, the family was very close knit: eating, celebrating and working hard together.
“Never going to bed angry is what kept our marriage and family strong,” said Elaine.
Their sentiments seem to be a universal recipe for success.
Frank and Joyce Naquin of Thibodaux shared similar advice to newlyweds and all couples who may be struggling during rough times.
“Never go to bed angry; learn to share; respect and listen to one another even if you don’t agree; don’t get married unless you are certain you are in love. Possibly the most important thing to do is compromise,” Frank and Joyce said.
When their children, Connie, Lynne, Frank, Jr., and Troy came along, they made it a point to live and eat as a family. Work ethic was a strong factor in their household, and each member had chores and responsibilities. Frank and Joyce enjoyed a dancing date once each month and played cards with friends, children in tow. Family first has kept them strong throughout the years.
The wisdom behind both of these half-century marriages is truly timeless and many lessons can be learned from their stories. So as you celebrate Valentine’s Day with the ones you love, take to heart the advice given by these couples … it obviously works!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Ronald and Elaine Callais of Galliano have been married 53 years and offer advice on how to sustain a successful relationship.
Posted on Tue, February 10, 2015
by Jan Conrad, Contributing Writer