Many consider Valentine’s Day a tribute to love, while others think of the massacre. But did you know there was a St. Valentine? He’s the patron of lovers, but who was he really?
In the third century there was a priest named Valentine who lived in Rome. He was put in prison because he helped some Christians who were going to be executed by Emperor Claudius. In prison, Valentine healed the chief warder’s daughter who was blind. The warder and his family became Christians afterwards. When the emperor heard this, he ordered Valentine clubbed to death on February 14th in the year 269. To make sure he was dead, Claudius had Valentine’s head chopped off.
This Valentine had nothing to do with young lovers, so where did the traditions come from? Some say it is because birds pair up on this day and start mating. Others say the day is special for lovers because the pagan Roman festival called Lupercalia, is when young men take part in a lottery to find a partner. Some say it’s a scheme to entice sales of candy and flowers by commercialism.
I say, what does it matter. Any excuse to profess one’s love is a good thing.