February 11


The Saint Valentines Day History

By Prisqua

February 11, 2011

Celebration, love, Valentine's Day

The Saint Valentines Day HistoryThe Saint Valentines Day History. The greeting card industry has estimated 2.6 billion Valentine’s Day cards will be sent in the United States this year alone. This popular holiday is celebrated all over the world as a day set aside for lovers. But, do you know the Saint Valentines Day history?

Valentines Day History: Who Was Saint Valentine?

According to the Catholic Church there are actually three people who are honored as St. Valentinus or Valentine. The story of two of these men is sketchy and little is known except they both died on February 14. The story of why the Catholic Church decided to grant these men sainthood is lost in ancient history. The most popular story, which has probably been embellished over the centuries, concerns a young priest in Rome in about 270 A.D.

Claudius II, Emperor of the Roman Empire, decided that single men made better soldiers than married men. He declared that all young men of military age could not marry. This, of course, went against the teachings of the Catholic Church. A young priest named Father Valentine decided to defy the emperor and secretly performed marriages for young people, though it put his own safety at great risk.

He was caught and imprisoned where he met and fell in love with the jailor’s daughter. He began sending her notes that he always signed “From Your Valentine”. He was killed while trying to escape during an attempted prison break with other Christian prisoners. According to legend, he died on February 14. 270 A.D.

Valentines Day History: Pope Gelasius Changes the Date

There are several stories surrounding the reason Pope Gelasius decided to change Valentine’s Day from February 15 to February 14, 498 A.D. Some stories say it is to commemorate the deaths of the three St. Valentine’s, others say that it was an attempt to neutralize the Roman holiday, Lupercalia, held on February 15, which, according to Roman tradition, was the first day of Spring.

Among the celebrations was the choosing of one’s lover for the rest of the year. It was common for the young Roman men to declare their love for a special girl and she would then be his sweetheart until the next year. Also, many young people agreed to marry on this day after a year of courtship.

Valentines Day History: The Oldest Valentine

The oldest existing Valentine was written by a prisoner of war incarcerated in the Tower of London. He wrote a love poem to his wife in 1415. It is part of the manuscript collection in the British Library, London England.

The Saint Valentines Day History

Valentines Day History: Be My Valentine

Around the seventeenth century exchanging notes and small trinkets became popular in England on February 14. By the end of the eighteenth century printing technology had advanced to the point that colorful greeting cards were being mass produced.

A woman named, Esther A. Howland began selling Valentine’s Day cards from her home in the 1840’s. She added lace and ribbons which she called “scrap” and she was often called the mother of Valentine’s Day cards. She opened what is believed to be the first greeting card store in North America.

Valentines Day History: Roses from Your Sweetheart

This year when your lovers send you roses and candy remember the Saint Valentines Day history stretches back into ancient times.


About the author

Coffee in the mornings is a must! I hunt and shoot aliens as therapy a few hours every day. Work sometimes demands that I tweet, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. I never leave home without my 5 inch stilettos, iPhone and of course a possible good story.

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