History of Valentines Day

person holding heart shaped cut out
person holding heart shaped cut out
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

Tomorrow, millions of Americans will buy cards, flowers and candies to show their loved ones how much they love them. Some of us will go out to eat and some of us will spend our evening at home. But…why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day, and how did it begin?

Wikipedia gives this account of the origins of Valentine’s Day:

There are a number of martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines connected to February 14,[4] including an account of the imprisonment of Saint Valentine of Rome for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire in the third century.[5][6] According to an early tradition, Saint Valentine restored sight to the blind daughter of his jailer.[7] Numerous later additions to the legend have better related it to the theme of love: an 18th-century embellishment to the legend claims he wrote the jailer’s daughter a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell before his execution;[8] another tradition posits that Saint Valentine performed weddings for Christian soldiers who were forbidden to marry.

Wikipedia, Source

The actual origins of Valentine’s Day are anything but romantic. No one knows for sure when Valentine’s Day as a romantic holiday actually started, but Valentine’s Day was mentioned in England as early as the 1700’s, and the first Valentine cards began to be mass produced in America in 1847. Since then, Valentine’s Day has been observed with handwritten notes, store-bought Valentine’s cards, flowers, and candies. School children might buy cards and candy to give to their classmates in a special mailbox they made in class. You may follow these common traditions, or make your own.

Just recently, at our church, the children’s sermon leader asked if we should only show love to our families on Valentine’s Day. Since there were children from preschooler all the way to middle school in the sermon, a variety of answers were given. I thought about that- how often DO we show our loved ones we appreciate them?

This Valentine’s Day, what can we do to continue showing love to one another long after February 14? How do you plan to celebrate those you love? I’d love to hear your answers! Please comment below.

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