The Big V day is almost here! Every year we exchange candy, flowers, cards and gifts all in the name of Love. February has long been a month of romance. But do you know the history behind Valentine's Day? It contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. Who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with the celebration of love?
One legend contends Saint Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Claudius discovered Valentine’s actions, He ordered Valentine be put to death. Other stories suggest that Valentine attempted to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, which led to his death.
According to another legend, Saint Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself while in prison. Valentine fell in love with a young girl who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still used today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.
So there you have it, a touch of history and another take on the day we celebrate love and romance! Enjoy the day with those you love. And then, as a romance author, go and write about it...
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!