This is the feast day of Saint Giles of Assisi, best friend of St. Francis of Assisi. St. Giles said: “If you love, you will be loved. If you fear, you will be feared. If you serve, you will be served.”
It is also the feast day of the mythical St. George, dragon-slayer and patron saint of England (among other places). For hundreds of years (beginning in the 15th century, according to Wikipedia) this day was celebrated as the major English patriotic holiday with festivities rivaling Christmas.
In the Catalonia region of Spain the celebration of Saint George’s feast day (called La Diada de Sant Jordi) has taken on additional connotations and is observed by lovers who give each other books and roses to honor their love – and to acknowledge Shakespeare and Cervantes who both died on April 23rd. For similar reasons, UNESCO designated April 23rd World Book Day although some countries choose to celebrate on a different date.
Suggestion for Celebration:
On this day Catalan men give their lovers roses and Catalan women reciprocate with books. Why not give your love a book and a rose? Throw in a bottle of wine (red, for roses and love) and a picnic dinner. Hallmark can keep Valentine’s Day