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The History Behind Valentine’s Day:

Celebrating Love and Romance

February 13, 2018
by Anna Veltri , Emmetsburg News

Tomorrow (Feb. 14) is Valentine's Day, a day to celebrate love and romance. Feb. 14 is also known as the Feast of Saint Valentine. It is a day that we express love to our family, friends, and that special someone. But what's the history behind Valentine's Day?

Valentine (or Valentinus) was a name that was quite popular between the second and eighth centuries A.D. In fact, there are nearly a dozen Valentines that have been canonized by the Catholic Church. The St. Valentine that is most commonly celebrated on February 14 was actually beheaded in Rome on Feb. 14, 278 A.D. According to the story. during this time, Emperor Claudius II did not allow marriages or engagements in Rome as a means to motivate men to join the army. Men were reluctant to go to war if they had someone at home waiting for them. Valentine realized how cruel this punishment was to lovers. He decided hold marriage ceremonies for couples in secret. When Emperor Claudius II found out about these secret marriages, he sentenced Valentine to death by beheading. Valentine was canonized for being a martyr for a cause. He died for the belief that love endures all things.

Valentine's day was not celebrated as a day of love and romance until 1375 when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the poem "Parliament of Foules" in which he referred to Feb. 14 as the "day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate" ( It is said that because of this poem, Valentine's Day became a day of romance. Before this time it was merely a day to celebrate St. Valentine.

Valentine's Day comes once a year, but it is important to let your loved ones know that you love them every single day. Don't wait until Feb. 14 to tell that special someone that you love them; instead, honor and praise your loved ones everyday of the year, but go ahead and enjoy a little extra chocolate and buy some flowers.



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