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What Do You Know About St Valentine's Day?

Every year on February 14th cards, flowers and gifts are exchanged between lovers and loved ones in the name of St Valentine. February has long been established as the month of romance. It is said that February 14th is the day the birds start to pair.

Now who was St Valentine?

One legend says that Valentine was a priest who served during the 3rd Century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those who were married and had children he band young men from getting married. Valentine thought this was unfair and married young lovers in secret. When Claudius found out what he was doing he ordered Valentine to be put to death.

Another story suggests that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape from the harsh Roman prisons where they were often badly treated. It is also said that Valentine may have sent the first valentine message himself. While he was in prison he fell in love with a young girl who may have been the jailer's daughter who visited him. Before his death he wrote her a letter and signed it "From your Valentine". A popular way for lovers to sign their messages to this day.

It is still unclear the true history of Saint Valentine but by the Middle Ages he was one of the most popular saints in England and France. In 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius set aside February 14th to honour St. Valentine.

Valentine's Day

Legend also says that Valentine's Day started in ancient Rome, on February 14th, a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. Then, the following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia. In those days, the lives of young boys and girls were strictly separate. However, on the eve of the festival of Lupercalia, (February 14th) the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and marry.

The first Valentine's Card .

The first true valentine card is said to have been sent in 1415 by Charles, the Duke of Orleans, to his wife. This romantic card was sent from the Tower of London, where Charles was imprisoned, having been captured during the Battle of Agincourt. In 1537, King Henry 8th, as it is chronicled, declared February 14th as St. Valentine's Day, by Royal Charter.

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