As universally believed, when one is asked what they know of the origin of Valentine’s Day a predominant answer is “Something to do with St. Valentine!” As the most romantic day of the year approaches, Supriya Reginald lays the Valentines ‘fons et origo’ dilemmas to rest to a certain extend.
Though even Historians aren’t able to place a finger on the inception of this centuries old observance, it is popularly believed that it can be dated back to the pre-Roman empire. By the end of the 5th century Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as St. Valentine’s Day to commemorate the life of Saint ‘Valentinus’. The 3rd-century Roman saint was a priest in Rome who ministered to prosecuted Christians. During the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus, the beloved saint was caught marrying Christian couples and aiding Christians who were being persecuted by the emperor. His acts of compassion resulted in his imprisonment followed by execution as helping Christians was considered a crime and St. Valentine defied the orders of Claudius by performing matrimony ceremonies to ensure the husbands would not be forced to fight in the war.
To remind the men of their vows and God’s love, it is said St. Valentine cut out little hearts from a parchment and gave it to them. This may very well be the inception of the widespread use of hearts on St. Valentine's Day. When in prison the kind saint prayed for the jailer’s blind daughter whose sight was eventually restored and on the day of his execution he left the girl a note signed “Your Valentine”, which is still used by many on the auspicious day of Valentines.
There you have it you folks, the tale of the most love infused day in the year. Though it revolves around the axis that is ‘lovers’ many friends as well as families take this opportunity to express their love to one another. So here’s wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!