Who was St. Valentine?
Every year for Valentine my daughter and I have tons of fun making unique funny Valentine cards. We embellished them and create funny stories with each card we make. So she asked one day, Who invented Valentine Day? Hmmmm ???? To me Valentine day was a reds and pinks, chocolates, fun loving cards, romantic dinners, flowers, tons of kisses for my daughter and husband, romantic comedies, you get the picture. Well, I was clueless of the saint part. Was there such a saint named St. Valentine or was it just just a name for a loving day, a loving month?
Well, I did some research and found many legends. Here are just a couple:
St. Valentine was a priest in Rome during the third century. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than married soldiers with families, he to outlaw young men to marry. Valentine believed this was an injustice and continued to preform marriages to young lovers. When Claudius learned of Valentine secret marriages, he ordered Valentine to be put to death.
It was believed that Valentine actually sent the first “Valentine” while in prison. Valentine fell in love with a young girl, who was his jail-or’s daughter. She had visited him during his confinement and before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today.
Again, these are supposedly legends from so many that I came across. I must say from most of the legends I have read, Valentine seemed to be a romantic, sympathetic and heroic figure.
Valentine’s Day is mentioned ruefully by Ophelia in Hamlet (1600–1601):
To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes,
And dupp’d the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5