A day for romance- a little background on this important day
But there is no doubt that everyone celebrates February 14th or Valentine's day.Many exchange cards, candy, flowers, and gifts with their loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. The tradition of sending valentines is actually a very old one and I thought it would be entertaining to do a little research on this holiday that speaks to the heart. The oldest known valentine in existence today is a poem sent by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife in 1415 while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. But the beginning of Valentine's Day goes even further back in history.
Pope Gelasius declared February 14th to be St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D. And during the Middle Ages it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of bird mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of February — Valentine's Day — should be a day for romance.
Friends , you might be surprised to know that we can't really verify for certain the real story behind St. Valentine's Day. According to one legend. Valentine was a priest who lived during the third century in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Emperor Claudius decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, and as a result he outlawed marriage for young men. Realizing the injustice of the decree, Valentine defied Claudius and married young lovers in secret. When Valentine's clandestine actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.
My favorite legend concerning Valentine is that he actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself, from prison. According to this story, Valentine fell in love with a young girl that may have been his jailor's daughter, who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today.
Friends , while the facts behind the legends of Valentine are far from clear, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no wonder that Valentine's Day caught on as a day of sharing love and romance. However you decide to spend this day, I hope that you are doing something that warms your heart. Happy Valentine's Day!