Each year in America, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico and Australia billions of people celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day. 85% of Valentine’s day purchases are made by women, 1 billion valentine’s day cards are sent out each year and Valentine’s day is the second largest card sending holiday of the year, the first being Christmas. Today I will share with you the history of Valentine’s Day and the legend of Saint Valentine. There are three different stories as to how Valentine’s Day became a holiday, but they all have the same thing in common, which is Saint Valentine.
February has always been a month of romance and history. The roots of this holiday are based on the Christian and ancient Roman tradition. The roman-catholic church recognizes at least three different saints, saint valentine and saint valentines are the two most familiar. The first legend says that Saint Valentine was priest who served in the third century in Rome. The emperor at that time was Emperor Claudius, and he believed that the single men made better soldiers in his army, so he banned all marriages for young men at that time.
Saint Valentine seeing this as an injustice was still willing to perform marriages in secret for young lovers. When Valentines secret was discovered, the legend says he was sentenced to death. The second legend suggests that Valentine may have been killed for helping Christians escape Roman prisons. Many Christians that were kept in these prisons were kept by a higher being and were tortured to death. The third story tells us that Valentine sent the very first valentine from prison.
The legend says that he fell madly in love with the jailer’s daughter where he was in prison and right before he was put to death he wrote her a letter and signed it love your valentine. Now I am going to tell you how and why Valentine’s Day became a tradition and a holiday. By the Middle Ages saint valentine was viewed as a sympathetic, romantic and heroic figure. As a result of this he was considered one of the most popular of all figures in England and France at that time.
Valentines death was said to be around two seventy eight A. D. In effort to Christianise the Pagan holiday celebration of Pieria at the Lempira festival, it is said that the celebration of saint valentine’s burial was moved to the month of February. In ancient Rome February was the official beginning of spring and was considered at that time a time of purification. In France in England during the middle ages February fourteenth was the day that the birds began choosing their mates, also around five hundred A. D Pope Gelasius declared February fourteenth, Valentine’s Day.