Valentine’s Day is now symbol of celebrating love, a day for romance and courtship. How did it all start? Why is this day the love day?
Saint Valentine was a Christian priest who lived in the ancient Roman Empire during the rule of Emperor Claudius the Second. He used to carry on wedding ceremonies for young Christians who were at that time persecuted by the Roman law. It’s obvious therefore why he was regarded as a protector of love. Valentine was eventually arrested and tortured but he never renounced his religion. According to historians, he even tried to convert the emperor to Christianity but without success. He was tried and decapitated in year 269.
Legend has it that before his martyrdom, Saint Valentine felt in love with Julia, the daughter of his prison guard Asterius, a girl that was blind at that time. He performed a miracle and restored the girl’s vision but he never got to find happiness with because soon after he was executed. He managed to give her a farewell love note however, signed at the end “Your Valentine”. This is considered to be the first love letter in history and the tradition is carried out nowadays with the same message but without the grim meaning.
In 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius has declared that the day of February the 14th, – the day Valentine was executed – should be Saint Valentine’s day.