The History of Saint Valentine

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Valentine’s Day is celebrated annually on the 14th day of February.  It is marked with the exchange of cards, chocolates, and other tokens of affection.  This holiday, like many others, began as a religious celebration of a Saint.  There are at least three different Saints associated with this particular holiday, the most popular is of course known as Saint Valentine.

Saint Valentine is the patron of love, young people, and happy marriages.  He was a priest in Rome who fought against the beliefs of Claudius the Cruel who believed that Roman men were not joining the army due to their strong attachments to their wives and families.  In order to end this problem, Claudius banned marriages in Rome. Valentine did not agree with the prohibition of marriages and continued to perform marriage ceremonies in secret.

Once Claudius found out that Valentine was still performing the services, he ordered him to be killed. His sentence was brutally carried out around February 14th.  As the legend would serve, it is said that Valentine left a note for a friend signed “From Your Valentine”.

It was after his death that he was named a Saint. In the 5th century, the 14th day of February was designated as his feast day by Pope Gelasius.  A feast day is appointed by the church to honor and commemorate the life of a saint.

The popularity of Valentine’s Day began to rise in the 17th century.  Other countries celebrate this day as a day of love. In France and England, the 14th is the first day of the birds’ mating season, which is a symbol of love, fertility and a sign of the upcoming spring season.

This Valentine’s Day be sure to exchange a little gift with someone you care about whether it be your best friend, a family member or your significant other.  Chocolate is a great give for sharing!  Get your last minute gifts at Sinful Sweets Chocolate located at 901 Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.