History of Valentine's Day
Every February, gifts are exchanged between loved ones in the name of St. Valentine. The history of Valentine's Day is shrouded in mystery. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. Who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.
There is a story about Valentine, who was a priest in Rome during the third century. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
One story suggests that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.
According to one story, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, Valentine fell in love with a young girl who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine.'
Valentine's Day Gifts
Traditional Valentine's Day Gifts include:
- A Phone Call to a Loved One