Valentine’s Day


Delaney Gillespie

People now in 2021, know Valentines day to be a day dedicated to love and romance. Thats exactly what February 14 is now, but this holiday dates back to the ancients Romans and it didn’t always have a happy meaning.

In 500 A.D, Pope Gelasius canonized Saint Valentine and gave him the feast day of February 14. There are many stories and legends about Saint Valentine but they all end with him becoming a martyr. One legend stuck out to many, he was a Roman priest who performed weddings for young soldiers. The soldiers were not allowed to marry because the emperor declared that married men are not good warriors. He wore a ring with cupid on it as a symbol of love and for others to recognize him. He would often go around giving people paper hearts to remind them of God’s love. Saint Valentine is known as the patron saint of love because of this legend, his prayer asks to connects lovers together and that the couple remembers their devotion to God.

In the Middle ages the word “valentine” was used to describe lovers in poems and songs, by the mid-19th century there was a mass production of paper for Valentines day cards and the day as we know it was born. Another myth of Saint Valentine that connected him to this holiday was that in the 5th century A.D, Valentine was arrested. The jailer’s daughter took pity on him, she brought him food and tried saving him. In the letters he wrote to her he would give thanks and sign it, “From your Valentine.”

Valentines day is mostly celebrated by people in the United States and Britain. Before the 18th century, it was about exchanging gifts like gloves and spoons, and being someone’s valentine for a whole year. It wasn’t till the 19th century that exchanging cards and spending too much money was the new norm for people on this holiday.