Valentine’s Day is a celebration of passion and feelings, a day when young couples think highly of each other’s love and commitment.
It is also perceived to be the second-largest economic event after Christmas. For developing countries alone at least 15 billion cards are exchanged.
Valentine’s Day is thought to be a day of love but we have no evidence as to the day’s roots.
February has always been celebrated as a romantic month, and as we know it today, St. Valentine’s Day incorporates remains of both Christian and ancient Roman culture.
According to the Catholic Church‘s legends, at least three separate saints called Valentine or Valentinus, both martyred.
According to one myth, Valentine was a priest who served in Rome during the third century. Once Emperor Claudius II determined that single men would make soldiers better than those with wives and families, he prohibited young men from marriage.
Valentine’s Day-Tales of Christians
Valentine, knowing the cruelty of the law, defied Claudius and went on a mission of conducting secret marriages for young lovers.
Claudius ordered the death sentence for him when the acts of Valentine were revealed.
Even so, others argue that it was Terni’s Saint Valentine, a priest, who was the holiday’s real namesake. He was killed outside of Rome also by Claudius II.
Other reports say that Valentine may have been executed for trying to help Christians escape from brutal Roman jails, where they were frequently beaten and tortured to death.
Another legend says, a prisoner Valentine secretly sent the first “valentine” to greet himself after he fell in love with a young girl, possibly the daughter of his jailor, who visited him during his imprisonment.
It is alleged before his death that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” a phrase that is still in use today.
Old Pagan Stories
Celebrated on 15 February, Lupercalia was a festival of fertility devoted to Faunus, the Roman god of harvest, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.