The meaning behind Valentine’s day:

Courtesy photo. This painting depicts Saint Valentine.

By Kipper Sinclair:
Opinions do not really differ much from person to person. It does seem that Saint Valentine’s Day is as big of a holiday as Christmas.

“It is a day to show love to the people you love and are grateful for. I do some of the traditional stuff for my mom and my sister and my girlfriend,” Jordon McCormick, a history and dance major, said.

The frequency of this day of love being celebrated is often determined by whether or not someone is involved with another person. “With the right person, it can definitely be an impactful day.  When it is just you by yourself, it can seem just like a regular day,” Brandon Arrendondo, an engineering major, said.

Valentine’s Day is a day set aside to celebrate the love of boyfriends, girlfriends and family.

Not much is truly known about the most romantic day of the year. We do know that February has long been designated as the month of love. It is speculated that February being made the month of romance really started around the Middle Ages. In fact, the oldest known Valentine was dated to be around the year 1415. It was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans for his wife who had been imprisoned in the Tower of London.  Later on, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer to compose a valentine letter to Catherine of Valois.

Three other stories are also deemed to be the start of Valentine’s Day. Three different Valentines were deemed saints by the Catholic church. The first legend states that one Saint Valentine was put to death because he had defied Emperor Claudius who had declared that no young man could marry. Emperor Claudius believed that single men would make better soldiers. This Valentine performed illegal marriages for young men. He was found out and put to death.

The second legend states that Valentine had been imprisoned for helping Christians escape Roman prisons, where they had been brutally tortured and beaten. According to the third legend, Valentine had been imprisoned.  He sent the first Valentine after he had fallen in love with the jailor’s daughter, who had visited him quite frequently. Before he had died in prison, it is thought that he had sent her a letter that had been signed “From your Valentine.” That phrase would become one of the most widely used phrases in existence today.

We now have an idea of how February became the month of love. Now let’s turn to how Feb. 14 is thought to have been designated Saint Valentine’s Day. There are a few theories on how this came about. One theory is that the Catholic church designated a pagan holiday called Lupercalia, which had survived the beginning of the rise of Christianity.  Later, it was declared an “un-Christian” holiday by Pope Gelasous, who had declared Feb. 14, Saint Valentine’s Day.  Another theory suggests that in England and in France, Feb. 14 was the day that birds started mating, adding to the thought that Feb. 14 should be a day of love.

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