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What Are The Origins of Valentines Day?

Robertus Pudyanto, Getty Images

Almost everyone knows what Valentine’s Day represents, but few know it’s bloody origins.

Valentine A holy priest in the Roman empire around the third century A.D. Fella foul of Emperor Claudius II and was executed. It seems Claudius was convinced that the men of Rome were not joining the military because of attachments to their families and wives. He therefore decreed and into all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine ignored Claudius is decree and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.

It wasn’t long after that Valentine’s actions were discovered and Claudius sentenced him to death around the year 278 A.D.; and it wasn’t necessarily a quick death since the prefect of Rome decreed HEB beaten with clubs until dead and then have his head cut off.

As the legend goes, St. Valentine’s Day left a farewell note for the jailers daughter who had become his friend and signed it, ‘From Your Valentine.’

For his great service, Valentine was named a saint after his death.

Though this may be a true story, the exact origins and identity of St. Valentine are unclear. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of 14 February.” One was a priest in Rome, the second one was a bishop of Interamna (now Terni, Italy) and the third St. Valentine was a martyr in the Roman province of Africa.

Legends vary on how the martyr’s name became connected with romance. The date of his death may have become mingled with the Feast of Lupercalia, a pagan festival of love. On these occasions, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius decided to put an end to the Feast of Lupercalia, and he declared that February 14 be celebrated as St Valentine’s Day. –

 Read more about the history of Valentines Day.


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