Valentine’s Day

Sarah Wack

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Valentine’s Day

The loveliest day of the year.

It stems the life of the mysterious St. Valentine, but there are actually many different St. Valentine legends.

In 3rd century Rome, the Roman Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men, hoping this would make the men more focused on the army rather than on a spouse. However the Roman Catholic St. Valentine of Terni found the law preposterous and continued to performing marriage ceremonies for the young couples. He was put to death in 269 C.E. This story is widely accepted by most.

Another story claims that the infamous St. Valentine was helping Christians imprisoned in Roman jails which were known for their harshness and brutality. He would comfort the prisoners and deliver letters back and forth between the prisoners and their families. Eventually he was imprisoned himself  and ended up falling in love with a jailer’s daughter who often visited him during his confinement. He wrote her a love letter once signed “From your Valentine.”

The famous February 14th date was chosen in response to the Roman pagan celebration, Lupercalia. The fertility celebration would have bachelors pick out women for marriage. In an effort to Christianize the pagan holiday they put St. Valentine’s feast day around the same time. The date was officiated by Pope Gelasius 496 C.E. However, the popularity of the holiday didn’t occur until well into the Middle Ages.

While there are many debates about the life of St. Valentine, he has always been revered as a heroic, swoon worthy, romantic at heart who inspired an entire day to love.

How Sweet!

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