|We didn’t find anything vulgar or unseemly in Yahoo!’s Saint ||Valentine of Rome or Valentine’s Day categories. But we did uncover ||some of the myths and legends surrounding this romantic holiday. ||The Catholic Church recognizes three different saints named||Valentine who were martyred on February 14, and all date from very ||early in the church’s history. One was a priest in Rome, another was||the bishop of Interamna (modern-day Terni in Italy), and the third ||died in Africa. Some suggest the first two are the same person. The ||holiday was inspired by the bishop of Interamna or a combination of ||the bishop and the priest of Rome.Order now
||Many kind, sometimes miraculous acts are attributed to St. ||Valentine. One of the most popular legends concerns marriage. The||reigning Roman emperor, Claudius, was recruiting soldiers to go to ||war, but many men didn’t wish to leave their wives or girlfriends, ||so the emperor outlawed new marriages.
Valentine defied him by||secretly marrying couples, which earned Valentine a prison sentence ||and, ultimately, death. Another tale (sometimes mixed in with the||first one) recounts Valentine’s stay in prison, during which he||cured the jailer’s daughter of blindness. He fell in love with the ||woman and sent her a final letter signed “from your Valentine. ” This||is why lovers call each other their “valentine. ” ||As is the case with many Christian holidays, Valentine’s Day ||probably incorporates some pagan elements.
In ancient Rome, February||15 was the start of a major fertility festival called Lupercalia. ||This festival was dedicated in part to Juno, the patron goddess of ||women and marriage. During the celebration boys drew girls’ names||from an urn. Sometimes, these pairings led to a wedding. ||When Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire, the old ||pagan festivals were ended. Many people continued to celebrate them,||so the Church attempted to change the pagan elements.
For||Lupercalia, instead of drawing a future mate’s name, children drew ||the names of saints and were supposed to emulate them for the year. ||The day of St. Valentine’s was conveniently close to the old ||festival day, thus the pagan celebration evolved into a Christian||saint’s day. Around the year 498, Pope Gelasius made it official by ||declaring February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. ||Valentine’s Day traditions and stories grew popular over time,||particularly in the Middle Ages.
The chivalric idea of courtly love ||fit well with this holiday, and noblemen and women sent love notes ||and small gifts. By the 17th century, many people in Europe||celebrated the holiday. In the Victorian era, mass-produced||Valentine’s Day cards became available, and they’ve been a big hit ||with romantics ever since.|| || || |