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A Brief History of Valentine's Day

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As we all know, Valentine’s Day these days is considered a “Hallmark holiday”, meaning it’s only purpose is for card and candy companies to get people to buy their products by making them sentimental to guilt people into believing they need gifts to show their loved ones affection. But do you know where they day actually came from?

The accounts are disputed as there were many martyrs named Valentine within Christian stories, but two stories stand predominantly out from the rest believing as having originated the holiday, and in fact, are often wondered to be about the same man.

The first account claims a martyred priest from 270 CE gave the day its name when, from in prison, he sent his jailer’s daughter a letter signed “from your Valentine.” The second account tells a tale of a bishop named St. Valentine of Terni, who is believed to have married couples in secret to spare single men from war. This would account for the connection between the name Valentine and love, but, like I said, it’s wondered if these two men were the same man.

I suppose we’ll never really know the truth of the day of love, or how it evolved into what it is what it is now. Accounts of formal messages, or “valentines” date back to the 1500’s, but there’s not much of an account prior as to how a day dedicated to a saint simply became a day dedicated to love.

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Image from Designecologist on Unsplash.