The Sweet History of Valentine’s Day

When people think about Valentine’s Day, they think of hearts, flowers, chocolate, and a romantic day or evening, but how did all of this come to be?  The history of this holiday may not be what you are expecting.

The History of Valentine’s Day

Many people have come to recognize February 14th as Valentine’s Day, but it is also referred to as the Feast of Saint Valentine.  This holiday began as a ritualistic celebration for one or more Christian saints that were named Valentinus.  According to hagiographical accounts, Saint Valentine was imprisoned for marrying soldiers who were banned from marrying.  He also ministered Christians that were arraigned under the Roman Empire.

According to many legends, Saint Valentine healed a relative of his jailer by the name of Asterius.  The legend goes on to state that, before Saint Valentine’s execution, he wrote a letter with the signature, of “Your Valentine” to say goodbye.

During the time this day was associated with romance and love, it was in the High Middle Ages, which was also the time when courtly love began to leave its mark on the world.  During the 18th century in England, these times emerged to a time when lovers expressed the love that they had for one another by giving cards and flowers, known as “Valentines”.

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