A Historical Look at Saint Valentine’s Day

By | January 3, 2019

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Valentine's Day card. 1881 Valentine's Day card featuring montage of illustrations. Source: (#523889036 Getty Image)

Valentine’s Day is, for most people, a day to celebrate the loved ones in their life. But where did Valentine’s Day originate and how did we come to celebrate a particular day in honor of our loved ones? And who is St. Valentine anyway?

Just like at Christmas, people exchange cards and gifts in celebration of this day but in some places around the world, they do not. India is one such place where there are those who do while others do not. According to some “Indians,” it is not part of their culture.  

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Source: (Photo from Pinterest.com)

There are a few variations or stories of how this day came to be.

First of all, Valentine’s Day is the “Feast of Saint Valentine.” There are at least three different saints recognized by the Catholic Church named Valentine (or Valentinus). All three of them were martyred. According to legend, one of these Saint Valentines was a priest in Rome at the time of Emperor Claudius II. The emperor determined that it was not feasible for single men to marry because they were less effective as soldiers if they had families. For this reason, the emperor decided to outlaw marriage. Because Saint Valentine felt it unfair and unjust, he went against the emperor’s decree and continued to perform marriages in secrecy. Before long, his secret was out and Claudius had him put to death.