Holding History

St. Valentine

Every year on February 14th, we celebrate Valentine’s Day by declaring our love for one another. I remember, in elementary school, that we would decorate shoeboxes and then handout Valentine cards to all our classmates. Why? And how did this holiday come about?

From what I have learned it goes back to the Roman days and that a priest named Valentine or Valentinus was martyred. The Catholic church recognizes three different men who were later appointed as saints because they all were martyred. The legend, for one Valentine, says that he would preform marriages after it was made illegal for your men to get married because the Roman Emperor, Claudius II, thought that single men made better soldiers.

Another saint, Valentine of Terni, who was a bishop, is credited for the holiday. And other stories suggest that Saint Valentine was helping Christians escape harsh Roman prisons and was killed in those efforts.

But whatever the real origins of Saint Valentine, today we celebrate it as a day of love. Not just romantic love, but the love we have for one another, whether it be a spouse, friend, or family member.

Who is your Valentine?

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