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What is Valentine's Day About?

Updated on January 20, 2011

Valentines Day - Love or Hallmark Profits

Every year on February 14th we celebrate St. Valentine's Day. For many, the weeks leading up to this holiday can be filled with anxiety, indifference, or excitement. What is this holiday really about besides profits for Hallmark and Godiva you may wonder? Well let's delve into the evolution of this Holiday a little deeper and see what we find.

Saint Valentine Who??

Who is a Saint Valentine?

Growing up a Catholic my understanding of this holiday as with most holidays was that they were a time to celebrate the Catholic faith whether through great saints, Jesus, or certain traditions. 

Valentine's Day much like Christmas is a configuration of not just Catholic stories and traditions but those of many other culture's adaptions of holiday meanings and traditions as time has gone on.

According to Catholic belief Valentine was a priest and a martyr who died under the reign and persecution of Claudius the Second or Claudius Gothicus, who was a roman emperor  He was beheaded on February 14th around 269 or 270 for aiding fellow Christians and also marrying Christian couples.

Despite vague historical accounts of this saint, he is considered to have existed since there was evidence of a church in his name found and also different accounts on his life have been recorded including stories of miracles performed. Miracles are of course necessary to be considered for sainthood in Catholicism.

Over time the stories have varied regarding Valentine, including one where he fell in love with the jailer's daughter and wrote her a note considered to be the first valentine. Somewhere around the 17th century Great Britain began the tradition of exchanging Valentines and we continued the popular tradition here in America starting in the 1700's.

Valentine's Day Facts

Here are some facts about St. Valentine's Day according to

  • 50% of Valentine's Day cards are bought within 6 days of the holiday
  • Around 114 million cards are exchanged on Valentine's Day following right behind Christmas the most popular
  • 2.2 million marriages take place annually in the US, 70% of people as of 2008 had at one point been married
  • Chocolate businesses employ around 43,322 people
  • Florist businesses employ around 109,915 people

Romantic Movie Clip ( Love Actually)

Saint Valentine's Day

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