History of St. Valentine’s Day
Countdown to Valentine’s Day, Day 3. I thought this would be easy explaining who St. Valentine was…a man who shoots magical arrows at unsuspecting people and they then fall madly in love with their soul mate. Nope. Not that easy. Despite searching numerous websites, I found different versions of the story of St. Valentine and the history of Valentine’s Day. The most common thought is that Valentine’s Day, or a form of it, began with the Romans. On February 14 they worshipped Juno, the goddess of women and marriage in hopes of finding their future loves. However, when Christianity began spreading, the church did not want to support a holiday unless is was to worship a Christian and replaced it with a holiday honoring the Christian saint of love, St. Valentine.
Who is St. Valentine? The story behind St. Valentine begins when Emperor Claudius II was in power; he forbid all marriages in hope of making young men fight in his wars. However, according to CBN.com, a Roman priest named Valentine secretly married couples believing in the sanctity of marriage. When Claudius found out he caught and imprisoned Valentine and eventually had him executed.
The stories that surround St. Valentine’s imprisonment also vary, but he is believed to have developed a relationship with the daughter of the jailer, who was ill or blind. Different renditions report that either through prayer or at the time of his execution she was healed. The letters he wrote to her while he was jailed were signed, from your Valentine, inspiring today’s usage of his name.
Another Freebie with inspired St. Valentine activities: