Valentine's Day History
There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day.
Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was
martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to
love lotteries. Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for
the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your
Valentine". Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a
priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had
Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside
February 14 to honor St. Valentine.
February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine
became the patron saint of lovers. The date was marked by sending poems and
simple gifts such as flowers. There was often a social gathering or a ball.
United States, Miss Esther Howland is given credit for sending the first
valentine cards. Commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800's and now
the date is very commercialized. The town of Loveland,
does a large post office business around February 14. The spirit of good
continues as valentines are sent out with sentimental verses and children
exchange valentine cards at school.
History of Saint Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day started in the time of the Roman Empire.
In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honor Juno. Juno was the
Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the
Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the
Feast of Lupercalia.
of young boys and girls were strictly separate. However, one of the customs
of the young people was name drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and
placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and
would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom
he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and
often, they would fall in love and would later marry.