February has routinely been looked upon in popular culture as the month of love, due to Valentine’s Day being on February 14th.
The origins of Valentine’s Day are somewhat uncertain, although its roots are reputed to be historical, beginning with St. Valentine himself. The tale of Valentine begins with him as a young priest who refused the law of the time – created and enforced by Roman Emperor Claudius II – who allegedly ordered that young men must remain single in service of growing his army. The priest Valentine, legend tells, secretly performed marriage ceremonies for young men. When Claudius learned of this, he had Valentine arrested, thrown in jail and executed. The story goes on to say that on the evening before Valentine was executed, he wrote the first “valentine” himself: a handwritten note addressed to his beloved – the jailer’s daughter – reading “From your Valentine.”
The holiday has been celebrated in a multitude of way over the years: the church marked it an official holiday beginning in the year 496; the French royal court held an annual Cour Amoreuse, a public gathering of “joyous recreation and talk about love,” beginning in the year 1400. Finally, paper valentines gained popularity and began to be assembled in factories in the United States and England in the early-mid 1800’s, and they have proliferated ever since.
What’s most interesting to me, however, is that upon further investigation, while the theme of love remains intact, no romantic elements of love are present in the original medieval historical accounts of St. Valentine.
That leads me to what I’ve long suspected: that February is, in fact, a month for celebrating love in all its forms, be they romantic, platonic, familial…be it love you feel and express for friends, for a partner, for your spouse, for your pets or for your family. Love, in all its forms, abounds.
With all of the various types of law available to me once I left law school, I specifically chose the practice of estate law because I believe it is law that is designed to care for and protect those we love most.
As you enjoy our newsletter this month with a few different expressions of what estate planning can provide for you and your loved ones, I send you one wish: that you experience fully all of the love in your life in all of the forms it presents itself.
Joel J. Loquvam
Attorney at Law
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