Love is a Flame
Posted on February 16th, 2022

By Dr.Tilak S. Fernando Courtesy Ceylon Today

Love is a Flame

“Young Love Is a Flame; Very Pretty, Often Very Hot and Fierce ” – Henry Ward Beecher

When Henry Ward Beecher scribbled two sentences: “Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce and light and flickering; the love of the older becomes disciplined as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable,” he would never imagined these quotes would become world-famous one day and slot into a specific day on 14 February, as Valentine’s Day. 

The modern world celebrates the 14 of February as Valentine’s Day, which has transformed into what is known as ‘ lovers’ day! Usually, this day fills with a series of events, predominantly for those in love. It is a day filled with fun and punctuated by sending Valentine’s cards to their admirers. Valentine’s Day is not complete unless it ends with a party or dance. Meanwhile, it’s a sad day for eligible bachelors and damsels when they find a marriage proposal is not even on the cards in the predictable future.

 Henry Ward Beecher was a social reformer, speaker, and author. He published over two hundred and seventy books, and dozens of beautiful quotes that appear on the Internet. He always said, God’s love is above everything else:  It’s easier to go down a hill than up, but the view is much better at the top.”

From time immemorial  

Steadfast lovers consistently celebrate Valentine’s Day from time immemorial. Valentine’s Day becomes Cupid (Venus) day or the child-like winged deity of the Roman Goddess’s son of love. Valentine’s Day relates to the conjoint exchange of flattery through greeting cards. Usually, Valentine’s Day relates to red roses and the red heart-shaped contours with Cupid’s figure. It usually resembles a single rose, candlelit dinners, dancing in a star hotel, and exchanging expensive trinkets or real gold rings as tokens of love. Such feelings are impossible to view even under a microscope of human reaction. It certainly is an internal emotional state in every individual’s experience. 


Valentine’s Day has its different views and opinions. Some believe that Valentine’s Day originated from the Roman martyr who refused Christianity. Others believe it is the day devoted to the ‘Love Lottery’.  Emperor Claudius II, banned marriages because he thought ‘married men were substandard soldiers.’ The Roman martyr Valentine felt that was unfair and broke the rules to promote arranged marriages secretly. When Claudius II found out about valentine’s secret moves, the Emperor sent Valentine to jail and sentenced him to death. In prison, Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. When the soldiers took Valentine to the gallows, he sent a love letter through them signed ‘from Valentine’.  He died on 14 February 269 AD. Some believe it has some significance to Valentine’s Day. Many think St. Valentine, who served as a priest at a temple, was jailed during Emperor Claudius for defying Pope Gelasius, the third, and the last Bishop of Rome (492-496) in the Catholic Church. 

During the Battle of Agincourt, Duke of Orleans was captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415. From prison, he wrote a few lines to his wife on a Valentine card, which is preserved in the British Library in London, as part of a manuscript collection. Several years later, King Henry V hired John Lydgate to compose a valentine message to Catherine of Valois, who was very pretty and attractive. When King Henry V finally met her, he became smitten with love. She was the daughter of Charles VI of France. She married Henry V of England and gave birth to his heir Henry VI of England.

Britain commenced celebrating Valentine’s Day during the 18 Century. It soon became so popular among lovers and led to handwritten notes. During the 18th Century, the 14 of February became popular among friends and lovers in Britain, which led to handwritten notes to friends. Printing commenced during the 18th Century in Britain that took over the printing of Valentine cards.


Valentine cards have become commercialised like other popular themes such as Birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Engagements and Weddings. These appear as a mega commercial hysteria throughout the world to make stationery manufacturers, shop keepers and the postal services’ wealthy. Human beings generally get impregnated with emotions. Therefore, humans tend to become sycophants often with an overdose of relationships with others, from time to time. 

One is likely to be jolly on Valentine’s Day after receiving loads of romantic cards, bouquets of red roses or boxes of chocolates, with all kinds of fancy writings on them. Those who take Valentine’s Day seriously become vulnerable and spend lavishly on candle lit dinners in five-star hotels to please their lovers. Or hit the dance floor and enjoy a bit of pelvic thrust in romantic dim lights. But let’s face it, If one focuses oneself to rely on a single day of the year to feel that ‘love is in the air and ‘happy ever after,’ one may instead look at the horizon. Haven’t we all heard of the suggestion, “to love another, one has to love oneself?

Valentine’s Day falls on the 14 of February every year – a day observed to celebrate love and care for someone lovingly. Generally, animals too love each other daily in their way. Still, Valentine’s Day for humans calls for something a little more special. Does anyone find it difficult to figure out how to wish on Valentine’s Day? Then,  pick a piece of blank notepaper and write on it any sentence with ‘fancy’ writing on it, or a Valentine card and send it to your much-loved person. 

Nowadays, it is easier to send Valentine’s Day wishes through a text message from your smartphone or emails to your fiancé and friends. One may write as follows: “I love you like crazy, baby ‘Cuz I’d go crazy without you.” (Pixie Foudre). Instead, one may scribble, there is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.”

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