The Story of Saint Valentine's Day

by Stratton Craig

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It’s the second most widely celebrated day of the year after Christmas, but the story behind Saint Valentine’s Day certainly isn’t as renowned as the Nativity.

The 14th February is a mysterious celebration, first declared as such in 496 by Pope Galasius. It is believed it was marked in memory of a martyred Roman priest, although it is not clear which one as ‘Saint Valentine’ was a title given to several. The name Valentine derives from ‘valen’ (worthy, strong, powerful).

After Emperor Claudius banned young marriages due to his belief that too many men were choosing not to be a soldier in favour of wedlock, Bishop Valentine is said to have continued conducting marriages secretly. However, word spread of his great deeds and Bishop Valentine was eventually found out, jailed and sentenced to beheading.

Legend has it that just before his capture, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, who wrote him a note reading ‘From your Valentine’ on the day of his murder.

And so the story blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon. The power of storytelling never ceases to amaze us, but that's another love story we'll tell you on our first date.

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