Valentine’s Day: A day filled with greeting cards, chocolate, hearts, and church history?
February 14th is Saint Valentine’s Day, but who really was Saint Valentine?
There is a lot of speculation and confusion on who this person actually was.
Some people believe Saint Valentine to be a young man that defied Emperor Claudius II, and the injustice of forcing young men to abstain from marriage. Other people believe that Valentine helped Christians escape cruel conditions while imprisoned. The famous phrase “From Your Valentine” comes from this legend. This greeting transcends time, yet was simply written to Valentine’s lover while he was prison. The true identity of Valentine is unknown, and many stories are told around the world about his life and death.
Regardless of whom the actual person was, St. Valentine was a martyr of the church and embodied many of the Jesuit values such as an apostolic or action orientated nature and a call to human excellence.
Valentine’s Day is not only celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church, Lutheran church, and Baptist church remember St. Valentine.
With further speculation, Valentine’s Day is believed to be held on February 14th to remember the death or burial of the saint. Although many people differ on the actual motivate for the date.
However, some known interesting facts about Valentines Day from stvalentinesday.org include:
- In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
- The oldest surviving love poem till date is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians, inventors of writing, around 3500 B.C
- Women are buying a lot of the Valentines, 85 percent to be exact.
- Parents receive 1 out of every 5 valentines.
- Worldwide, over 50 million roses are given for Valentine’s Day each year.
- Amongst the earliest Valentine’s Day gifts were candies. The most common were chocolates in heart shaped boxes.