• Teri Willis

Valentine’s Day was not always “loving”!

Updated: Feb 15

WHERE DOES THE WORD

❤️VALENTINE❤️ COME FROM?

The day is named, of course, for St. Valentine—we all know that by now. But why? Who is this mysterious Valentine?


According to The New York Times, it's possible that the love-filled holiday is based on a combination of two men. There were, after all, two Valentines executed on February 14 (albeit in different years) by Emperor Claudius II, reports NPR. It's believed that the Catholic Church may have established St. Valentine's Day in order to honor these men, who they believed to be martyrs. What's more, it's possible that one of these men, Saint Valentine of Terni, had been secretly officiating weddings for Roman soldiers against the emperor's wishes, making him, in some eyes, a proponent of love.


Another story involves the practice of writing love letters to your Valentine. It's said that St. Valentine wrote the first “valentine” greeting to a young girl he tutored and fell in love with while he was imprisoned for the crimes outlined above. According to The History Channel, before his death, he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine," which remains a commonly used phrase to this day.


Others believe that St. Valentine's Day was actually designated by Pope Gelasius I in order to replace the ancient Roman festival Lupercalia, a celebration of fertility dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture, Faunas, and Roman founders Romulus and Remus.


Whether or not Chaucer can be fully credited, it is true that he and fellow writer Shakespeare popularized the amorous associations surrounding the day. Soon, people began penning and exchanging love letters to celebrate Valentine's Day, and by the early 1910s, an American company that would one day become Hallmark began distributing its more official "Valentine's Day cards." Flowers, candy, jewelry, and more followed, and the rest, of course, is history.


Thanks to Country Living Magazine for the great information!


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