What’s The History of Valentine’s Day? 3 Thrilling Tales To Tell
While it is a common belief that Valentine’s Day was a holiday created by chocolate or greeting card companies, in order to sell more products, this rumor is not true. Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to buy flowers, chocolates, candies, cards and other treats for your loved ones, but it actually has a deep-rooted history. While the story is clouded in mystery, there are some stories that hint at the true meaning and history of Valentine’s Day.
What’s the history of Valentine’s Day?
While all of the stories below are only legends, there is a rich history of Valentine’s Day woven between the tales. Keep reading to see who Saint Valentine was and what he did to deserve his own holiday.
St. Valentine in Rome
While there seems to have been several saints named Valentine in history’s past, there is one story that has been passed down for centuries. In this legend, St. Valentine was a priest serving in third-century Rome. During this time, Emperor Claudius II decided to outlaw marriage for young men because he thought they would serve better as soldiers than as husbands. St. Valentine disagreed with this law and took it upon himself to marry young lovers in secret. When he was found out, he was put to death because of it. What better namesake could there be? This priest believed in love so much, that he died for it! That’s pretty badass if you ask me. It also makes me happy to think about all of the young lovers who celebrate Valentine’s Day together every year, who can be together without any secrecy.
Valentine – The Christian Saint
Another legend tells the story of a man named Valentine, who helped Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were tortured and beaten. This was also happening under the rule of Emperor Claudius II, who also ends up killing Valentine by the end of the story. Seeing a theme here? This Claudius guy sucks. It even begs the question of if this Saint Valentine, and the one in the previous story were the same guy. Some say this Valentine fought for the sanctity of Christian marriage that was not respected by the Roman government, so there is an obvious tie here between the two tales. Maybe Claudius imprisoned him on both accounts.
“From Your Valentine”
While this story has less concrete evidence than the last two, it follows a man named Valentine. Shocker, right? This Valentine was also imprisoned, so maybe all three stories are connected! While imprisoned, Saint Valentines wrote a letter to his own lover, possibly the jailer’s daughter who frequently visited him, and signed it “From Your Valentine.” This story is super cute because it explains why we call our love letters “valentines,” and explains the way we use that title in numerous different ways surrounding the holiday. I, A Valentine, am writing my Valentine, A Valentine, on Valentine’s Day. I’ve never known a word that is used in so many different ways within a sentence!
While there are many different iterations of the story above, I like to think that all three of the Valentine’s were the same guy. And boy, he did a lot! Either way, Valentine’s Day, like most other holidays is a tradition that has carried on for many centuries. While the general concept of the holiday might seem annoying or like a ploy to drain us of our money, it’s a quite nice tradition. This Valentine’s Day, whether you have your own “Valentine” or not, we should all be happy and thankful that we are able to love who we love, freely and happily. Obviously, from the third century Rome, we’ve come a very long way (while we still have work to do!) Whether it’s romantic or not, spread some love today! Happy Valentine’s Day!
What’s the history of Valentine’s Day? While we aren’t for sure, this is a great start! What other stories have you heard about the history of this special day? Let us know in the comments below!