There’s More to Valentine’s Day Than Candy and Cards

By: Jodi Marks

With another Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I decided to do a bit of research (translate that as late night rootin’ around on the Internet). I wanted to finally know what all the hoopla was about Valentine’s Day, and why we mark it as the most romantic day of the year.

I was surprised to discover all the different interpretations that exist to explain the celebration. Here’s what I gleaned from my search:

  • According to ancient Roman history, there were several martyrs by the name of Valentine, however one man in particular was actually martyred and then buried on February 14th.
  • The Feast of St. Valentine was created by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. Upon its establishment, he was quoted as referring to Martyr Valentine, among others, as those “… whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God.”
  • Another widely held belief of St. Valentine was that he was so distraught over the rebuff from his mistress that he cut out his heart and sent it to her, still beating I might add, to show his unending love for her.
  • Of course, there are also some pagan mythologies thrown in for good measure to celebrate the ancient fertility rituals that were marked on the calendar from February 13th through the 15th.
  • Over 1 BILLION Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year from all over the world and not surprisingly, most are bought by us women!
  • And one last note on ol’ St. Valentine. Valentine comes from the Latin word valens which means “worthy.”

Interesting, indeed!

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