History of Valentine’s Day

Sara McRoberts, Reporter

Some of us have more romance in our hearts than others, and romance has brought us Valentine’s Day.
In early history, it is said that at least three different saints had the name Valentine. All of them carried out acts that can be seen as romantic, heroic and kind.
A legend of the saints is that he carried out secret marriages when marriages were banned. The ruling emperor at the time decided that single men made for better soldiers; therefore, he declared marriage illegal.
Another tale says that Valentine rescued prisoners from torture and starvation and was seen as a hero.
Yet another story explains that Valentine was imprisoned and fell in love with the prison guard’s daughter. He would send her letters professing his love for her.
The actual origin of Valentine’s Day is obscure and hard to determine; all of these legends represent the saint in a warm and gentle fashion. Because of this, Valentine has become the most popular saint throughout Europe.
As with most events in history, it can also be said that Valentine’s Day began as a pagan festival held in regard to women’s fertility. The Catholic Church revamped it and “Christianized” the festival.
In America, the tradition of Valentine’s Day is traced back to the 1700’s. Valentine’s Day cards began production in the early 1840’s, and now the holiday is recognized as the second best card-selling holiday.

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