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History of how Valentine’s Day came to be
February 14, 2023
Valentine’s Day is celebrated every year on February 14th. Valentine’s Day is also known as Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine. It started off as a Christian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs called Saint Valentine. It has become a celebration of love and romance for many regions around the world.
Near the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared that every February 14th would be Valentine’s Day.
The reason it is based on love is that notions of courtly love flourished, supposedly by association with the “love birds” of early spring in the 14th and 15th centuries. Valentine’s Day began to be celebrated as a day of romance in the 14th century.
There were many Christian martyrs named Valentine, though the day may have been named after a priest who was martyred around 270 CE by Roman emperor Claudius II Gothicus. Martyrs were people who voluntarily suffered death rather than denying their religion. Martyred means to be put to death for believing in a profession, belief, or faith. Apparently, the priest signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter, who he had befriended and by some accounts, even healed her blindness.
Other accounts say that it was Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop after whom the holiday was named after. A third common legend was that Saint Valentine defied the emperor’s orders and was secretly marrying couples to save the husbands from war. For this reason, his feast day is commonly connected with love and therefore became a day of love.
Whichever account you choose to believe, Valentine’s Day is still a day of love in which couples give each other gifts to show their love for each other.