The First Valentines Day. The first
American Valentines Day was celebrated in the 5th
On February 14, Valentine was beheaded, not only because
he was a Christian, but also because he had performed a
miracle. He supposedly cured the jailer's daughter of
her blindness. The night before he was executed, he
wrote the jailer's daughter a farewell letter, signing
it "From Your Valentine."
Day, Mothering Sunday, Fête des Mères, Día de las
Madres, Muttertag, La Festa della Mamma, it goes
by many different names, however you wish to say it, the
expression of appreciation and love for your mother is
the same. Today's modern version of what know as
"Mother's Day" with families sending Mother's Day
flowers, gifts and chocolate to their moms can be traced
way back to the seventeenth century in England.
In early history springtime was when they held
festivities to honor the goddess in all women. Most of the mothering festivals
to celebrate the rebirth of the land and the beginning of the most fertile time
of the year.
In prehistoric tribes motherhood has always been celebrated and a mother is
considered to be a Goddess and was worshiped as the creator of life. In many
archeological digs they have found many female goddess figures to represent
Another mother goddess known as Cybele is another famous goddess in history as
is the jealous wife of Zeus. In Rome there was Hera and in Ancient Greece Rhea
was revered as the mother goddess. The Queen of Heaven show ruled over all
matters concerning mothering in ancient Egypt was Isis.
The Original Mother's Day was actually called
Mothering Sunday and was on the fourth Sunday in Lent...The family gathered for
a mid-Lenten feast with Mother as the special guest. Mothering Sunday was a
special day when all strict rules about penance and fasting were put aside. The
older children returned home for Mothering Sunday who were away working learning
a trade or working as servants. Along with a rare visit from her children,
mothers were given treats of wildflower bouquets and homemade cakes, cookies and
other baked goods. While ‘Mothering Sunday’ is still celebrated, most now know
it as Mother’s Day.
The history of Mother's Day in the rest of the world is a bit different. In the
USA, the early English settlers often disapproved of the more secular holidays
and the Mothering Sunday tradition never really took hold. Early attempts to
have a day to honor mother's were mixed with woman's suffrage and peace
movements and were not very popular.
Julia Ward Howe, who wrote the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic,
suggested the idea of an International Mother's day to celebrate peace and
motherhood in 1872. There were many other women who were active with local
groups holding annual Mother's Day remembrances, but most were more religious
gatherings and not the holiday that we know today.
mother of Anna Jarvis was another woman who was working on establishing Mother's
Day as a national celebration. Mrs. Jarvis wanted to hold this annual gathering
the heal the pain the the Civil War and originally called it Mother's Friendship
Day. Anna campaigned to make Mother's Day an official holiday after her mother
died in 1905 to commemorate her mother and devoted her entire life to the
struggle to have Mother's Day declared a national holiday however it was her
daughter Anna Jarvis's campaign that actually is the reason we have a formal
In the spring of 1908, Miss Anna Jarvis wrote to the superintendent of Andrew's
Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia and requested that a Mother's Day
service be held in honor of her mother where she had taught Sunday School
classes for over 20 years. The superintendent agreed and with 407 people in
attendance on May 10, 1908 the first Mother's Day celebration was held at
Andrew's Methodist Church. In order to commemorate the service, Anna Jarvis sent
500 white carnations to the church in Grafton. One carnation was to be worn by
each son and daughter and two carnations each mother.
Later that afternoon another service was held in
Philadelphia where Anna resided with her brother. Anna
had requested that the first official service be held in
Grafton, where the Jarvis family had lived so much of
their lives and where her mother had served for so long
as a teacher and public servant.
In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared that Mother’s Day should be celebrated
as a national holiday on the second Sunday in May.
history of sympathy - a tribute to activist mothers
from the past and present.
Mother's Day may not have turned out to be the holiday
that Anna Jarvis or Julia Ward Howe expected it to be.
Anna Jarvis was actually arrested at a Mother's Day
festival because she was trying to stop people and women
from selling flowers. Mother's Day changed from being a
special day of appreciation and semi-religious occasion
of prayers and a day of peace to a pagan world where it
was all about selling gift, candy, flowers and and whole
dining out extravaganza. Jarvis said "I wanted it to be
a day of sentiment not profit."
Mother's Day is now a celebration of mothers around the
world...dedicated to honoring the women who give so much
to their families without asking for anything in return.
Perhaps every day should be Mother's Day, but most
families are too busy with everyday business to say
thank you for every meal or every good night kiss or all
the little things that a mother does each day for her
family that she loves so dearly. There is no other love
deeper that that of a mother for her child.
Flowers, cards and gifts are just the outward signs of
appreciation and love. Once every year, the world stops
being busy and says thank you mom. What mothers love
most is the fact that their families and children really
do notice all that they do and for one day every mom is
queen for a day.
Happy Mother's Day!
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