Valentine’s Day Came From….

Once I worked with a man who was extremely bright with numbers, but not so much with history.  He truly believed, and even stated on the air, that Valentine’s Day came from the St. Valentine’s day massacre.  OOppps!

Most know that Valentine’s Day has something to do with St. Valentine.  But who was he, and what was his story?  I checked multiple sources, and History.com seems to have the most succinct explanation.  A couple of years ago, around 278 A.D. in Rome there WAS a real priest named Valentine.  During Valentine’s tenure, emperor Claudius II banned all marriages and engagements in Rome because he needed a big army,  and thought that romance distracted the soldiers.  Valentine secretly started performing marriages behind Claudius’ back, and here’s the sad fate:

When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 270.

Legend also has it that while in jail, St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine.”

That story explains where the love association  and card giving originated…but Valentine’s fate certainly isn’t very romantic.

Before reading this account, what was the first thing you thought of when thinking of Valentine’s Day?

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