How Valentine’s Day came to be

Gracie Thies, News Editor

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     Valentine’s Day is a well known holiday usually celebrated with a loved one, but does anyone actually know why it is called Valentine’s day or the history?

     A legend suggests that a man known by the name, Valentine, who was a priest, disagreed with the Emperor Claudius II. The emperor believed that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and children, so he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine thought this was an injustice and continued to perform marriages for young men. When Claudius heard the news, Valentine was ordered to be put to death.

     Some stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for helping Christians escape harsh Roman prisons. According to the legend, Valentine was the first person to send a valentine greeting when he fell in love with a young girl. Before his death, the letter he wrote the love of his love was signed “From your Valentine,” which is a greeting on most Valentine’s Day cards today.

     While it may not be completely clear why Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14, some believe it was the day of Valentine’s death or a festival that the Christian Church decided to place in the middle of February.

     The Festival is called Lupercalia, which is a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture. Eventually, the festival was outlawed and deemed un-christian because the outrageous activity that went on.

     Pope Gelasius declared that February 14 would be called St. Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t until much later that people starting associated the day with love.

     Many people today do not realize that Valentine’s Day didn’t start with sharing and company of your loved one, but possible with the death of a prisoner or a festival of fertility. Just remember that the next time you buy a box of chocolates or a rose for your special someone. 

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