Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world on February 14, when friends and lovers share cards, poems, candy and gifts. But what are the origins of Valentine’s Day? It is actually a bit of a mystery.
There are three saints recognized as Valentine or Valentinus within the Catholic Church and all three were martyred. The first legend says that Valentine was a priest in third century Rome who defied Emperor Claudius II who outlawed marriage for young men as he felt single men made better soldiers. Valentine continued to perform marriages in secret and, when discovered, he was put to death. The second legend says that Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, is the true namesake of the holiday. He was also beheaded by Claudius II. Other stories and legends suggest Valentine was killed for helping Christians escape Roman prisons. Valentine may even have sent the first “valentine” greeting while imprisoned when he fell in love with his jailor’s daughter and wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine.” Whatever the true story, Valentine was a heroic and romantic figure.
Valentine greetings have been popular throughout the ages, as far back as the Middle Ages. The oldest known Valentine is a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London.
As we head towards Valentine’s Day, do you know what you will share with your loved ones? Bridgewaters has wonderful gift ideas including a beautiful paper clip chain and elegant bracelets for men. Stop by and find your heart’s desire!