ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Saint Valentine and the origins of Valentines Day

Updated on February 5, 2012

Valentines Day.

Every year, on the 14th day of February we traditionally celebrate by giving flowers, candy and cards to those we love, as well as generally keep those in the greeting card and floral industries in business. In many countries restaurants are filled with couples who celebrate their love with the accompaniment of fine cuisine. In fact it seems hard to find a young couple who is not keen to make the most of the occasion.

We do this in honor of Saint Valentine.

You may be wondering, "Who is St. Valentine"? When is Valentine's Day and why do we celebrate it on that specific day? Time to brush up on your Valentine's history!

Truth be told...

As most of us know, Saint Valentine's Day is a time of year that is historically associated with fertility and love. The story of how this day was created however, as well as Saint Valentine himself have been somewhat a mystery for quite some time. In fact, it has been a source of controversial debate for many years. The history of Valentine's Day is impossible to be obtained from any archive and the centuries passed have acted as a veil which has made the origin behind this day more difficult to trace. Our only source of information are legends and stories which have been passed down from one generation to the next.

You may not know...

The first officially recorded Valentine's Day was February 14th, 496 AD. As declared by Pope Galasius in memory of a 3rd century martyred priest in Rome.


Byzantine Orthodox icon of St. Valentine. Click on image to enlarge.
Byzantine Orthodox icon of St. Valentine. Click on image to enlarge.

Let's turn the clock back to around 270 AD.

Roman emperor Claudius threatened to make marriage illegal for young couples. He believed that single men made better soldiers than those that were married. And with that thought in mind he outlawed marriage for young men in hopes of building a stronger military base.

This ban on marriage was a great shock to the Roman people. However they did not dare protest or even oppose the emperor. Bishop Valentine however saw the trauma of young lovers who gave up all hopes of being united in marriage. He believed that marriage was part of God's plan and the idea of making marriage for young men illegal just wasn't fair and so continued to conduct marriages between young people in secret, in the name of love.

Valentine was not before long recognised as a friend of lovers and sweethearts in every Roman district. These actions gained him unwelcome notoriety unfortunately and as you can imagine this betrayal did not go down well with emperor Claudius. It was only a matter of time before Claudius came to know of this "friend of lovers," and had him arrested. He was jailed and scheduled to be beheaded.

But this is where the story gets interesting...


While in prison Valentine continued to minister to anyone he could...
While in prison Valentine continued to minister to anyone he could...

So while imprisoned, Valentine became acquainted and fell in love with the jailer's daughter. From what little we know, it is believed that on the day of his execution, February 14, Bishop Valentine wrote his love a letter from his prison cell which read: "From your Valentine". Words which are still being used on cards to this very day.

This story is widely regarded as the defining moment and tradition of Valentine's Day...

It may be that we will never know the true story of the man named St. Valentine or even how this celebration of love came to be but this much is for sure, February has been the month to celebrate love for a long time. In fact we can date it back to the Middle Ages.

To illustrate the appeal of this day further, in terms of greeting cards sent, the celebration of Valentines Day ranks second only to Christmas.

Order your flowers online. Same day delivery!
Order your flowers online. Same day delivery!

Can't get to the florist? No problem.

Click here to order your flowers online

Fresh, same day delivery!

Valentine's Day poem by William Shakespeare

Tomorrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I, a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.

Comments welcome... Would love to hear from you

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)