What is the history of Valentine’s day?

Valentine’s Day is celebrated across the world on February 14, every year. People gift their loved one’s gifts, chocolates, flowers and send out messages of love. 

It is popularly believed that St Valentine was a priest from Rome during the third century. Back then, a Roman Emperor Claudius II had banned marriages because he thought married men were bad soldiers. St. Valentine, however, thought this was unfair and so he broke the rules and arranged marriages in secret. He would wear a ring with a cupid on it and that’s how soldiers would recognise him and sent gifts and flowers through him to their loved ones.

He was then known as the patron saint of love. The Saint Valentine prayer asks St Valentine to connect lovers together so they become one and the couple remembers their devotion to god. When the Emperor found out about this, he arrested St.Valentine and sentenced him to death.

There, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and when he was taken to be killed on February 14, he sent her a love letter signed ‘from your Valentine’. Since then, people remember him as a saint of love and marked Valentine’s Day as the day for lovers.

Valentine’s Day then marked the start of the springtime. As a part of the celebration, boys used to draw names of girls and would date during the festival. Sometimes they ended up marrying. Later the church wanted to turn this festival into a Christian celebration in remembrance of St. Valentine. Gradually, St Valentine’s name was used by people to express their feelings to those they loved and is celebrated as Valentine’s Day today.

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