History of Valentines Day – The Man Valentine
Is the history of Valentines Day expressed in the current celebration of yummy chocolates, lovely cards, and sparkling engagement rings? What is the story behind such a highly-retailed celebration?
Some say the day is named after a bishop named Valentine, who was stationed in the Roman Empire. Claudius II was the Emperor at that time. He thought that unmarried men made better soldiers, so he decided to make it a law that young men could not marry. Around 270 A.D., Valentine took pity on the ostracized soldiers who were not permitted to marry or see their sweethearts.
He became an advocate of these young lovers and began to perform secret marriages. He was soon found out and jailed. Emperor Claudius II attempted to convert Valentine to begin worshipping the Roman gods, but Valentine refused. Instead, he tried to convert Claudius to Christianity and Valentine sentenced to be executed on February 24, 270.
Another version of the history of Valentines Day tells that Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter. Just before his death, he sent her a note and signed it “from your Valentine.” An aura of romance surrounded his demise and those who knew about it spread the tale. Bishop Valentine became Saint Valentine with his fame extending to England and France.
After his death, Valentine then became what is known as a “Patron Saint.” Some considered him the spiritual overseer of an annual festival in which young Romans would distribute cards of affection to those they wished to formally see. This festival was held each February 14. There are Valentine cards in museums worldwide that date back to 1415.
February has been the month to celebrate love ever since the Middle Ages.
History of Valentines Day - Symbols of the Day
Even though the history of Valentines Day is unclear, it has become one of the most popular holidays among lovers and florists! The common symbols of Valentine’s Day in this era are cupids, hearts, roses, teddy bears, and words of adoration. Children exchange valentine cards decorated with current comic and cartoon icons. Adults have continued this tradition of card giving which makes this day, behind Christmas, the second largest card-sending holiday of the year.
Cupids with bows and arrows represent Roman mythology. Cupid was the son of Venus, the goddess of love. The shot of the arrow would strike the unsuspecting desired person or god, making him fall in love.
History of Valentines Day – Finding True Love
The history of Valentine’s Day began in the era of courtly traditions. The stories of how women were wooed by grand gestures of gallantry flourish in romance novels of today. We all wish to be desired -- to be loved and accepted.
God has met this need through the most loving act ever done in the history of the world. God loved us so much that He sent His son to earth to live as a man. We are separated from God due to our sin, so God provided a way for us to spend eternity with Him in heaven. In a great act of love, Jesus died on the cross as a perfect substitute for each of us. He died, was buried, and rose again. When we acknowledge His gift and accept it, He comes to guide our lives and love us as we’ve never been loved before.