A while back, in the year 270, the Roman emperor Claudius II had the idea that married men made poor soldiers; it seems they didn’t want to leave home and go fight wars. So the simple solution was to declare by proclamation that marriage be forbidden.
Secretly people would seek out a Christian bishop named Valentine and he would marry folks in defiance of the emperor. Claudius soon had Valentine brought before him to answer for his actions. The emperor tried to convert Valentine to be a roman pagan and the bishop tried convert the emperor to Christianity. An obvious bad move for Bishop Valentine, he was merely sent to prison and sentenced to death for his audacity.
While awaiting his final day, the bishop fell in love with the jailer’s blind daughter. You have to be thinking this was not going to be a long term relationship but, I digress. On February 14th Bishop Valentine was executed but not before he left a note to his love and signed it, Your Valentine. Years went by and Valentine was declared a saint. There you have it, today we celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day with a day dedicated to thoughts of love.
Now as it so happens in ancient Rome February 14th was the eve of the feast of Lupercalia. Ok guys listen up and check this out. The maidens would put their names in a jar and the men would draw a name to be matched up as partners for the festival and frequently for the year.
The custom was not considered exactly moral by the Christian church, in fact it was considered a rather obscene custom. The Church later replaced the Feast of Lupercalia with Saint Valentine’s Day.
So there you have it, and now you know why we buy cards for Valentine’s Day and celebrate love. Today it may even be considered a Hallmark Holiday as we buy more cards for this day than any other except Christmas.