Published On: Wed, Feb 14th, 2018

The History of St Valentine, creation of the holiday

While cards, candy, flowers and romance take center stage to celebrate Valentine’s Day, it was on February 14 around the year 278 A.D., Valentine, a holy priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed.

The Roman Empire was struggling to keep control and “Claudius the Cruel” was fighting to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues.

Photo/Femke Jenkins Photography

Photo/Femke Jenkins Photography

Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families.

To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.

When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off.

Photo of Rosa 'New Day' at the Springs Preserve garden in Las Vegas, Nevada, taken May 2005 by User:Stan Shebs

Photo of Rosa ‘New Day’ at the Springs Preserve garden in Las Vegas, Nevada, taken May 2005 by User:Stan Shebs

The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 270.

Legend also has it that while in jail, St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine.”

For his great service, Valentine was named a saint after his death.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of February 14.”

One was a priest in Rome, the second one was a bishop of Interamna (now Terni, Italy) and the third St. Valentine was a martyr in the Roman province of Africa.

In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius decided to put an end to the Feast of Lupercalia, and he declared that February 14 be celebrated as St Valentine’s Day.

Gradually, February 14 became a date for exchanging love messages, poems and simple gifts such as flowers.

Moreover, the day is big business for retailers with an estimated record $18.9 billion set to be spent in 2015 by Americans.

Here’s some data from Eater.com:

62: Percentage of American adults that admit to celebrating the holiday.

18.9 Billion: Total amount Americans are expected to spend on the holiday this year.

58 Million: Pounds of chocolate purchased during the week of Valentine’s Day.

36 Million: Number of heart-shaped boxes of chocolate purchased for Valentine’s Day.

8 Billion: Number of Sweethearts produced annually. The majority of them are sold between January 1 and February 14.

1.7 Billion: Dollars spent on the aforementioned candy.

8.6 Million: Dollars spent on sparkling wine for the occasion.

34.6: Percent of people who splurge on dinner at a restaurant.

3.6 Billion: Amount Americans will spend in total on a “special night out” including restaurants, the movies, etc.

150: Average number of dollars men spend on Valentine’s Day.

74: Average number of dollars women spend on the holiday.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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