Valentine’s Day, February 14th is the day of love, where you show your significant other how much you love them by showering them with gifts. From chocolate, flowers, jewelry and stuffed animals couples are buying and spending, but where did this holiday originate?
It all started in Rome with a man by the name of Valentine of Terni, or Saint Valentine. The ruler at the time Claudius II made marriage illegal thinking family was the reason for lack of men in the Roman Army. St. Valentine would wed the couples in secret. However he was eventually caught and arrested. He was sentenced to death and to be beheaded. It is rumored that while he was in prison he had fallen in love with a young woman. He would write her letters up until the day he would die. His last letter was signed off with “Love your Valentine.” He was beheaded on February 14th, 269 AD.
Valentine’s Day was not named Valentine’s Day until the 5th Century under Pope Gelasius I. On February 15th there was a Pagan Holiday called Lupercalia, which celebrated fertility. In hopes to Christianize the holiday, the Pope renamed it to Valentine’s Day in honor of Saint Valentine, and moved it to the day of his death. This would continue on into the present.
The history behind Valentine’s Day is not as lovely as it sounds like it should be. This Valentine’s Day be safe and enjoy your time with one another, because you never know when it will be your last.