Valentine's Day Through the Ages: A Playful Look Back

Valentine's Day Through the Ages: A Playful Look Back

It comes around every February without fail –and if you ignore the stress of whether to send/ receive a card it is a great opportunity to get your art on!

But why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Well it is all down to a priest by the name of Valentine!

He was a big advocate of love and making sure people could pursue their dreams. He was thought to have existed during the 3rd century when the Roman Empire was everywhere (well in lots of places!) 

The Roman Empire was everywhere due to its vast army which consisted of lots and lots of soldiers. 

At this time the Emperor in charge – Gothicus – decided that his solders weren't serious enough about fighting so he banned his soldiers from getting married – quite a ban seeing as most were signed up for 25 years of service!

He thought marriage was a distraction from the soldiers main purpose – fighting! But banning marriage could not ban love!

And this is where Valentine came in and saved the day. He believed in love and would perform marriage ceremonies in secret between Roam soldiers and their beloved!

St Valentine Gets Caught!

But like most good deeds this did not go unpunished, the Emperor found out and threw Valentine in jail.

But a little thing such as jail did not stop Valentine – he continued to help people and pray to his Christian God to help them as well.

Valentines Performs a Miracle

Someone he helped in particular was his jailors daughter was blind. Valentine spent his time in prison praying to God to restore her vision. His jailer was skeptical but when his daughter found her vison returned he celebrated by releasing Valentine from his prison!

Obviously this did not go down well with the Emperor – who simply got another jailer and sent both Valentine and the original jailor back to prison and sentenced them both to death!

Invention of the Valentine's Card

And then Valentines invented (maybe without realising) the first Valentines card –  when on the 14th of February he sent a farewell letter of love to the jailer's daughter – and he signed it “Your Valentine”

 And this is all true – well it might be – actually there are a couple of other legends about how Valentine's Day was developed. Including linking it to the Pagan festival of Lupercalia – a festival of love.

But whichever is true slowly February 14 became a day where people exchanged messages of love and simple gifts such as flowers.


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