The History of Valentine’s Day

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A rose with a book pages folded into a heart.

Sarah G. Barron, Contributor

Valentine’s Day is always known as the holiday of love and romance, but who knows how it started and why? In history today, it is still not quite clear what happened, but they do have the legends of Valentine’s Day.

Legends of Valentine’s Day

In the third century of Rome, the Catholic Church acknowledged at least three different saints named Valentinus or Valentine. At that time Valentine was a priest who served in Rome. Emperor Claudius II said that young men who were single made better soldiers than men that had wives and children. Emperor Claudius II decided to outlaw marriage for young men. Valentine did not seem to agree with this, seeing the wrong in the decree. He disregarded the law and started to perform secret weddings. When Valentine’s doings were discovered, Emperor Claudius II demanded that he be put to death. He was beheaded outside of Rome.

 

The other legend says that an imprisoned Valentine sent a girl he fell in love with- that was suspected to be the jailor’s daughter-a letter signed “From your Valentine,”. That was the first Valentine sent and the expression still lives on today!

 

Flowers and a box of chocolate.

The tradition of Valentine’s Day 

In the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer in 1382. It was said that Maidens would receive roses from knights. The knights would also celebrate the maidens’ beauty in songs. But there was no record of other gifts.

 

By the 1840s, Valentine’s Day was mostly celebrated by English-speaking countries. The Victorians loved the notion of courtly love. They showered each other with gifts and cards.

Richard Cadbury was a British chocolate manufacturing family. Cadbury realized it would be a great marketing opportunity to make new chocolates and sell them in lovely decorated boxes that he designed himself.

 

Valentine’s Day has a bit of a mysterious background. But it’s a holiday of love. To celebrate the love St. Valentine gave to the people around him. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the people you love. Whether it’s friends, family, or a boy/girlfriend. Happy Valentine’s Day.

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