Where Did Valentine's Day Come From? - Senior Alert Medical

Where Did Valentine’s Day Come From?

by Medical Care Alert · 0 comments

Did you know that nearly 150 million cards are exchanged each Valentine’s Day?

Or that more than 40,000 American are employed at chocolate companies?

While the history of Valentine’s Day is sometimes debated, it clearly links back to a Catholic saint named St. Valentine.

The problem is there are actually three St. Valentine’s — one a priest, one a bishop, and little is known about the third. All were martyrs.

In 469 A.D., Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14 a day to honor St. Valentine, one of these three men.

One legend says that a Roman emperor banned soldiers from marrying in the third century, but St. Valentine took issue with this. He became an advocate for soldiers and was executed as a result of his outspokenness.

Another legend says St. Valentine was executed for his beliefs in Christianity and just before he died, he left a farewell note for a loved one and signed it “From Your Valentine.”

A conventional and widely accepted belief about the holiday itself is that Valentine’s Day grew out of a Middle Ages tradition of celebrating Feb. 14 as the day “the birds began to pair.”

The ancient Romans celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia on February 14th in honor of Juno, the queen of the Roman gods and goddesses. Juno was also the goddess of women and marriage.

Many believe the ‘X’ symbol became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times. People who couldn’t write their names signed in front of a witness with an ‘X.’ The ‘X’ was then kissed to show their sincerity.

Girls of medieval times ate bizarre foods on St. Valentine’s Day to make them dream of their future spouse.

In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve.”

In 1537, England’s King Henry VII officially declared February 14th the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day.

No matter how Valentine’s Day got started, we all hope you have a lovely time and get your fair share of chocolate and flowers….and love!

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