Valentine’s Day History

Valentine day has being recognized in history with two famous reasons. Both the stories are related to saint Valentine who martyred on February 14th and was called as the messenger of love. One of the histories says, that Valentine day was earlier celebrated as the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalis/Lupercalia, a fertility celebration that used to observed annually on February 15. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius turned Lupercalia into a Christian feast day and set its observance a day earlier, on February 14. He proclaimed February 14 to be the feast day in honor of Saint Valentine, a Roman martyr who lived in the 3rd century.

The second and most famous story about the Saint Valentine and celebration of February 14th as the love and romance was started after the death of Saint Valentine on February 14th in 270 A.D in Rome. He worked as Priest for many lovers against the law proclaimed by Roman Emperor Claudius II. Claudius had a plan to make big army and asked all the men to join but unfortunately the number was very less and it made him very disappointed. So he tried to found the reason for the lack of support from his own empire. Later on, he got to know that many men just did not want to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their wives and families. As you might have guessed, not many men signed up. This made Claudius furious. So what happened? He had a crazy idea. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. So Claudius decided not to allow any more marriages. Young people thought his new law was cruel.

It made Saint Valentine preposterous certainly he wasn’t going to support that law! As he was a priest and loved to marry couples and make them successful in their love stories.  Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, he kept on performing marriage ceremonies — secretly, of course. It was really quite exciting. Imagine a small candlelit room with only the bride and groom and myself. They would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers. One night, when he was performing the ceremony with two love birds, they heard footsteps and it scared them a lot but thankfully the couple managed to escape on time.

Saint Valentine was caught was thrown in jail and told that my punishment was death. He stayed cheerful and pleasant even in jail and was proud of his doings. Many young people went to the jail to visit him. They threw flowers and notes up to his window. They wanted him to know that they, too, believed in love.

One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit him in the cell. Sometimes they used to sit and talk for hours. The girl helped him to keep his spirits up. She admired his doings and adored his courage to ignore the Emperor and keep doing the secret marriages in Rome. The day Saint Valentine died; Valentine day history was created as with his last note to his friend in which he signed “Love from your Valentine.”

The last note from Saint Valentine blew the air of love and courage to do anything for love in Rome. From that day February 14th considered as the loving and romantic day and custom started of exchanging love messages and gifts with loved one. Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. And when they think of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to stand in the way of love, and they laugh — because they know that love can’t be beaten!