As is inevitable in today’s society, old traditions have been turned into commercial successes. We could expect no less of Valentine’s Day, but let’s just take a look at how it all started…
The origin of Valentine’s Day continues to be shrouded in mystery, with most research indicating both Christian and ancient Roman traditions. The Catholic Church currently recognizes at least three different saints by the name of ‘Valentine’ or ‘Valentinus’, all of whom were martyred.
One legend holds that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome, and upon defiance of Emperor Claudius II (who outlawed marriage after deciding that single men made better soldiers than those who were married and had families), performed secret marriages for young lovers. When this was discovered, Claudius ordered that Valentine be put to death.
Another legend sustains that Valentine sent the first ‘valentine’ greeting himself, to a young woman who visited him in jail during his confinement. Before his death, it is believed that he wrote her a letter, which he signed ‘From your Valentine,’ an expression that is still widely used today. True or not, these stories certainly emphasize Valentine’s appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and romantic figure, becoming one of the most popular saints in England and France by the Middle Ages.
So… that’s it in a nutshell. Whether you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day or not (and if you do so, be it with a simple text message or the whole romantic scenario), I hope you’re having a good day.