Every February 14, across the United States and all over the world, we honor a day known as Valentines Day. A special day when candy, flowers and cards are exchanged between loved ones. Valentines Day gets its name from the infamous Saint Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from? There are several stories of who he was, but the popular belief about St Valentine is that he was a priest from Rome.
In the third century AD, Emperor Claudius had banned marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers. Valentine felt this was unfair, so he broke the rules and arranged marriages in secret. When the Emperor found out, Valentine was thrown in jail and sentenced to death. There, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and when he was taken to be killed on February 14th, he sent her a love letter signed “from your Valentine”.
As romantic as this story sounds, I don’t know how factual it actually is. There are just too many stories out there to know which to believe. While some tell of Valentines Day starting as a religious holiday, others claim it was a pagan festival. Whether fact or fiction, of all the stories told, this one is my favorite!