How did February 14th, Valentine’s Day become “the” date to represent love? How did we get a holiday for exchanging love messages?
Now of course Valentine’s Day has expanded to not only include exchanging love messages in fancy cards; there is the expectation for flowers, chocolate, dinner out and so on.
Seriously, how did this come about?
Legend has it that Valentine’s Day is connected to a Catholic priest named Valentine. Only problem is that there are according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “At least three different priests named Valentine who were canonized as Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, all mentioned under the date of February 14th.”
So how are we really going to know the true story of the beginning of Valentine’s Day? Which Saint Valentine is the true Valentine’s Day martyr?
…and how did a martyr’s name became connected with romance?
Here is my favorite story about which Valentine is the real Valentine’s Day Saint…
In the year 277 A.D. Claudius II, “Claudius the Cruel,” was emperor and ruled Rome with an iron fist. He demanded that his subjects serve in his army as he expanded the Roman territory.
During this time Rome was involved in many bloody, unpopular wars, and after years of fighting he had a hard time getting his men to stay in the never ending military campaigns.
He believed that the Roman men were unwilling to fight because they feel in love, got married, had children and their wives wouldn’t let them go off to the glory of battle.
To handle this problem Claudius banned all marriages in Rome.
There was a young Roman priest named Valentine who did not honor this decree. He defied Claudius and continued to support lovers by performing their marriages in secret.
When Claudius found out he ordered Valentine arrested, dragged through Rome, and beaten before being beheaded.
Legend has it that the jailer’s daughter fell in love the priest as he awaited his beheading. Before Valentine was lead away and beheaded on February 14th, he left her a love poem signed, “From Your Valentine.”
To honor Valentine’s courage and commitment to love he was canonized a saint.
So is that how Valentine’s Day became our holiday of love?
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.