I once gave my wife a Valentine’s Day card explaining the history of the holiday. It was such an epic gift that it is still discussed today (with quite a bit of mocking I might add). To make sure that your celebrations today are well informed, I would like to give you a snapshot of the origins of this fine day of love.
The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?
The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Excerpt from: history.com
Isn’t that romantic? On another humorous note, you can also mark your calendar to celebrate with people in India exactly nine months from now on a holiday called “Children’s Day.” That’s too good to make up.
Happy Valentine’s Day!