St. Valentine's Day Origins...

St. Valentine's Day origins are confusing at best.

The Catholic Church recognized several different Saints named Valentine. Each of these was martyred on February 14. These were:

A priest named Valentine had lived in the city of Rome around 270 AD. This was at the time that the Emperor Claudius ruled. In history, he was known as Claudius the Cruel. The priest served in a church not too far from the palace. The entire Roman citizenry loved and respected the priest deeply. Within the Roman Empire, wars broke out and Claudius continuely asked the citizens to partake in the battles. Many were unwilling to go because of their families or sweethearts. Claudius was angered because of their unwillingness to fight and ordered that no marriages were to take place and that all engagements were to be broken. This decree made Valentine very sad and he defied the Emperor and married couples in secret. When Claudius found out about the secret marriages, he was angered and demanded that Valentine be thrown into the dungeon. Many of the citizens pleaded that the priest be released. However, the ruler refused and Valentine perished in prison.

Another tale says that Valentine was one of the early Christians. For helping some other Christians, he was captured, brought before the authorities and sent to jail. While in jail, Valentine cured the jail keeper's daughter of blindness. He was beheaded for this act by the cruel Emperor. The morning that he was executed, he sent the jail keeper's daughter a farewell note that was signed, "From Your Valentine." We still use this phrase today.

Yet another story indicates that Valentine was an early Christian who made many friends with children. Because he would not worship the Roman gods, he was thrown into prison. The children who missed him were said to throw loving notes to him between the bars of his cell window. Perhaps this was the harbinger of today's Valentine's Day greeting card.

Still other tales abound that the Christian Church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's Feast Day in mid-February in an effort to bring Christianity to the pagan Lupercalia Festival. This pagan festival began when Rome was first founded. Rome was surrounded by wilderness. It was within this wilderness, that large packs of wolves roamed over the countryside. Among the many Roman gods one was named Lupercus. He watched over the shepherds and their flocks. In Latin the word "lupus" is the word for wolf.

St. Valentine's Day origins have evolved through history to include a holiday which is celebrated in many countries as a day associated with love. The day has progressed from the exchanging of cards to also giving flowers, chocolates and in most recent history - jewelry. St. Valentine's Day is about showing someone that you really care about them in a special way. What a shame that it only comes once a year! Make the world a better place by making someone feel special everyday. Also the romantic connection of the day can be enhanced more than just one day a year. Try to do something romantic at least once a week and watch your relationship blossom.

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