We all know and celebrate Valentine's Day every 14th of February 2012, and if you don't know what is that, it is the celebration of love between lovers and couples. On this date, almost everywhere you will see special events or celebrations between couples in a special day, from flowers, to dances, to movies, to dinner dates. For the more adventurous, one might see more wedding proposals and other forms of love declarations.
Valentine's day is the shortened name of Saint Valentine's Day, and it is a holiday in some countries on February 14th, to honor the martyrdom of an early Christian by the name of Saint Valentine. There were two Valentines honoured, one is Valentine of Rome and another Valentine of Terni.
Valentine of Rome was a priest who was martyred in/about AD 269, and his relics are still found in the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome as well as the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.
Valentine of Terni was the bishop of Interamma at about AD 197 and was claimed to be martyred during the persecution of the Christians under Emperor Aurelian. He's buried near Valentine of Rome, and his relics are found in the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni.
Some of the information I sourced did not point to any romantic elements, more like direct persecution of being a Christian during the times of persecution then. However, digging a tad deeper (in Wikipedia, of course), there were a few different legends with different stories how Saint Valentine's Day became romantically linked.
This legend shared that Saint Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and was arrested and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius the second, in person. The emperor Claudius was very impressed with Valentine as he shared conversations with him, and tried to get St Valentine to convert to Roman paganism so that his life may be spared. But St Valentine instead refused, and tried to convert the Emperor Claudius instead, to Christianity, so he was put to execution. In his last days/moments in jail before his execution, St Valentine is said to have performed a healing miracle on the blind daughter of his jailor, restoring sight to her by the power of Christ.
The second legend, the more romantically inclined one, portrayed Saint Valentine as a priest who refused a law by Roman Emperor Claudius II. The Emperor had passed a law that younger men are not allowed to wed, because those who got married were “no good as soldiers", and any men younger than 24 years of age were not allowed to wed. They were to go to war first, and once they returned, only then were they allowed to wed. Saint Valentine disagreed with this and continued marrying young couples who in love, regardless of their age, in secret. When Emperor Claudius found out about this, he was furious and got St Valentine arrested and thrown in jail to be executed.
It was in jail where St Valentine fell in love with the jailor's daughter, who visited him every day. It was during his confinement in jail where he wrote numerous love letters to her, and often ended the letters with "from your Valentine", where one can see that commonly practiced still, today, in Valentine's Day cards. It was later in the 15th century that Valentine's Day evolved to a practice where lovers express their love for each other by presenting gifts, flowers, confectionary and greeting cards.
If you're blessed to be involved in a loving and romantic relationship, take this time to spend some time with your beloved. Shower them with love the way they can understand and receive (some like gifts, some like quality time, some like words, some like food – find out =p). If you're blessed to be single, enjoy this time of celebration in remembrance of St Valentine who believed in love.
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