Valentine’s Day History

Saint Valentine holding a cross

Saint Valentine holding a cross

Adela Storey, Staff Writer

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Valentine’s Day is approaching fast this February, and it would only be appropriate to explain the history of this hallmark holiday. Most people choose to accept the holiday as it is, participating in the buying of flowers and candies, but they don’t usually give second thought to the foundation that the holiday was built on. Although there is undeniably a history, historians are not completely sure of exact details which means some of these claims might only be speculations.

Valentine’s Day is named after St. Valentine who was said to live in Rome around the 3rd century, working as a priest under an emperor called Claudius. Emperor Claudius put a law into place among his people that prohibited the marriage of young men and women because he believed his soldiers would fight better if they were unmarried. These soldiers were expected to make sacrifices and act fearlessly on the battlefield, but they couldn’t do this if they were worried about returning home to wives and children.

St. Valentine, who was known as Father Valentine at the time, decided that it was his priestly duty to marry men and women in secret regardless of the law set by Emperor Claudius. Once Roman guards found out about Father Valentine ignoring the law, he was captured and tortured while in jail.

During the year 269 AD, Valentine was executed by beating, stoning and finally decapitation for disregarding the command of the emperor. Now, Father Valentine has become St. Valentine, the patron saint of lovers. This title was given because of his selfless work in the Catholic Church to better the lives of others, and because he accepted his punishment of death as it was given.

In conclusion, the history is not the happiest, but Valentine’s Day means love and being together, whether it be with family or a partner. So celebrate the people in your life, and remember that all candy is half price the day after Valentine’s Day.

About the Writer
Adela Storey, Staff Writer

I’m Adela Storey, a staff writer for the Palmer Pawprint. I joined Pawprint my sophomore year because of my love for writing. During that time I helped...

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