There is more to Valentine’s Day than meets the eye. Here are some fascinating facts you’ll be amazed to know!
The popular holiday of Valentine’s Day is celebrated internationally on February 14th, a tradition that dates back to the third century AD!
The day is named after Valentinus, a Roman Catholic priest who later attained martyrdom and became known as Saint Valentinus or Saint Valentine.
Valentinus attained martyrdom when he was executed for going against the king’s wishes. The day his death sentence was carried out – February 14th – became known as Valentine’s Day.
There are several stories as to why Valentinus was imprisoned and sentenced to death. In fact, over the centuries, many priests were named after Valentinus and their stories began to merge with his, leading to an abundance of myths revolving around St. Valentine.
The Most Popular Myth
The story goes that the Roman Catholic priest Valentinus lived in Rome during the rule of King Claudius in around 3 AD. The king had many beliefs that stifled his kingdom. One of his decrees made Christianity illegal. Another belief he enforced regarded his soldiers’ marital status. Claudius believed that soldiers should remain unmarried. His reasoning was that if soldiers had families, they would not fight fearlessly to death, since they would want to ensure they returned home to their wife and children.
Valentinus, being a staunch Catholic, stuck to his faith though it was made illegal. And he continued to perform the marriage rites for any soldiers who approached him wanting to get married. When King Claudius found out about this, he had Valentinus imprisoned and sentenced him to death.
While in prison, one of the prison guards asked Valentinus if he would tutor his blind daughter Julia. Valentinus agreed and began to pass on his knowledge to Julia. He spoke to her, describing nature, objects, art, etc. so she could understand them even through her blindness. He taught her about faith and belief in Christ. One day Julia confided in Valentinus that she had begun to pray for the blessing of sight, and so she and Valentinus joined her in her prayers. Their faith grew so strong that one day Julia suddenly saw a bright light and gained back her vision. On the day Valentinus died, February 14, he left her a last note, urging her to keep her faith strong. He signed it ‘From Your Valentine’. And that is how Valentine’s Day came into being.
So Valentine’s Day was originally not about romance but about the goodness of sacrifice and about the power of faith.
So, in the true spirit of Valentine’s Day, why not do something to instill faith in others and spread goodness? Start a campaign and make life a little sweeter for the underprivileged. Spread the true Valentine spirit this year!