Feb 12 2019
The legend behind Valentine's Day!
Valentine's Day is all about love, proposal, marriage, hearts, roses and a lot more. Every February 14, across the globe, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But does anyone know who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from? Let's find out more about Valentine, this year before celebrating it.
The Catholic Church identifies three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus and all of them were martyred. One of the stories argue that Valentine was a priest who lived in the third century in Rome. When the Emperor Claudius II declared that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he prohibited marriage for young men. Valentine was against this law and defied Claudius. He still encouraged marriages and continued to perform marriage rituals for young lovers in private as a secret. When Valentine was caught for his illegal activities by the Emperor, he was sentenced to death as the punishment. The story seems quite lovable and stands as a symbol of love for the romantic couples.
The other stories are not as passionate as the previous one. One of them says that the Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. Another legend claims that an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with his jailor’s daughter, who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine, "we are still into it. Although there are many stories regarding the Valentine and Valentine's Day, there are some commonalities for all. Every story emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and most importantly romantic figure. Because of this fame, by the Middle Ages, Valentine became the most popular saints in England and France.
While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated as St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. There was another belief which existed in the France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance. By 18th century, it became a common thing for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and in 90's printed cards began to replace the traditional hand written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Thus, Valentine's Day turned out to be the most romantic day for love proposals, happy Weddings and love making. Happy Valentine's Day folks!