We are always curious to know how this special day started…. It has always been a mystery, but the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a Christian priest born in the third century who held marriage ceremonies for soldiers in secret. At that time, the Roman Emperor Claudius II thought unmarried soldiers performed better in battle, forbidden them to get married. Unfortunately, Valentine was executed on February 14.
Some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270– and others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, and to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. On the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th, St. Valentine’s Day. Although, it was until much later that this day became associated with love.
Valentine’s Day became popular in the 19th century in England and the United States as well as in many other countries. It became popular to send cards to friends, lovers, and family members. Also, chocolates, and flowers are very well-known gifts to give to our love ones.
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