Many places around the world observes Febreuary 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day. This day candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this personage? Where the tradition comes from?
It is not clearly stablished who’s the author of this current celebration. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus.
1. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When the Emperor decided that single men made better soldiers than those with families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.
2. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured.
3. A third legend says that an imprisoned man named Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. It is supposed that this man wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” before his death, and became an expresion that is still used today.
Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400.
The history of Valentine’s Day may remain in mystery, and nobody has a certain truth about when started to be celebrated, but nowadays we do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. Furthermore, whatever the truth is, lovers applaud that exists a special day in the year when they can give demonstrations of love and care for that person that makes their lives happier.
Long live to LOVE!