The Story Behind Valentine’s Day
Over a millenia ago one of the most famously loved and dreaded holidays came to life, the day of Saint Valentine. You may see Valentine’s Day as a great day where you can celebrate love, eat chocolate, and give gifts, or as a day that may seem lonely at times and makes being single into an inherently bad thing. You might not know where exactly this holiday originated; the true origin is still fairly unknown. But there are multiple theories, most being about a man named Valentine.
There are multiple versions to this story but for the purpose of keeping things simple, this story is a mix of the main ones out there. In the time of around 700 AD the Roman emperor Claudius II wanted to grow his army. He sent out his people to recruit others, but still no men were joining. The men mainly wanted to stay with their wives and help raise the children and due to this Claudius II’s army was not getting any bigger. To fix his problem he decided to cancel all marriages and engagements, officially banning matrimony. Although, there was a priest by the name of Valentine that did not agree with the emperor’s decision.
Saint Valentine believed in fighting for everyone’s right to true love. So he disregarded the new anti-marriage laws, and married young couples secretly, usually in small rooms with nobody other than the couple and himself; Valentine even spoke quietly in order to not get caught. When Emperor Claudius II finally found out, he sent his men to capture him. Valentine then stayed in a prison for four days before being beheaded by Claudius II. Some stories say that in the few days before his death, many young couples sat outside where he was being kept and prayed for him. Other versions say he made a blind woman see again by praying for her. This story can be told multiple ways, we don’t really know which ones are the right or wrong ones, although they all generally end with Valentine being executed by the state. Today we celebrate Valentine’s Day on Saint Valentine’s birthday, February 14th, to honour the memory of what he is known as : the guardian angel of love. Whether you like or dislike Valentine’s Day, you should enjoy being with the people you truly love and who truly love you.
By: Morgane Paquet