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Feb 14

So why is it called Valentine’s day?

2005 at 04.07 am posted by Veerle Pieters

The day gets its name from a famous saint, but there are several stories of who he was. The most popular belief about St. Valentine is that he was a priest from Rome in the third century AD. Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers.

Valentine thought this was unfair, so he broke the rules and arranged marriages in secret. When Claudius found out, Valentine was sentenced to death and thrown in jail. There, he fell in love with the jailor’s blind daughter. His love and belief in God cured her blindness, and when he was taken to be killed on 14 February he sent her a love letter signed “From your Valentine”.

The first Valentine message (apart from the one St Valentine wrote himself!) is thought to be a poem from Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife in 1415. He was captured at the The Battle of Agincourt  and was imprisoned in the Tower of London to await execution.

Valentine’s Day is a very old tradition, thought to have originated from a pagan fertility festival. The Romans had a festival called Lupercalia (which was celebrated every year in honour of Lupercus, the god of fertility) in the middle of February, officially the start of their springtime. As part of the celebrations, boys drew names of girls from a box. They’d be boyfriend and girlfriend during the festival and sometimes they’d even get married! Pope Gelsius abolished the pagan ritual. As a replacement to the pagan fertility festival, he established the feast of St.  Valentine’s Day as a celebration of love in 496 A.D.

Gradually, St. Valentine’s name started to be used mainly by men to express their feelings to those they loved. (source BBC)

ValentineToday Valentine means big business ranging from flowers to chocolate and SMS. In 2003 surfers in the US bought presents for the total amount of 2,74 billon USD, according to Yearly, more than 900 million cards are exchanged. Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas for the number of cards sent.

I am not going to try to make a buck but instead I’ll give you a home-made Valentine card that you can send to your loved one! Happy Valentine’s day! This is the full version of the card.




permalink this comment Pat Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 07.40 am

Great card!! I like it very much and I will use it!



permalink this comment karel Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 08.11 am

Thanks for the card… I’ll save it untill I bump into someone who deserves the card :-)




permalink this comment Kevin Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 09.34 am

Beautiful card.

Valentines not that hot for me… manage to catch a flu! So no dates and a nice dinner with my love one. :(



permalink this comment jean-christophe Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 09.41 am

Oh damn :( For years I had been thinking Valentine was a guy who got shot in a al capone gunfight in chicago in the 30’s. He was standing in front of a store, waiting for his girlfriend to show up until a car ran through the street and gangsters started to shoot at the windows.

It was in an old comicstrip (“spirou”) I read when I was a child.
How many things I believe to be true are wrong because i heard about it when I was too young to get it :)



permalink this comment lazymouse Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 09.49 am


for a minute there, i thought this card was from you to me, esp when i saw the mice!! :-)




permalink this comment Veerle Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 10.09 am

Glad you like my creation :-)

@karel, well, this may be not a top day for singles, but think about all the pros of being single, all the freedom etc.

@Kevin, get well soon :-)

@lazymouse, LOL!! :-) Well as you can see, these mice are not really ‘lazy’ ones :-P



permalink this comment Dave Jeffery Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 01.58 pm

Happy Valentines day, hope you have a good one.



permalink this comment px Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 08.39 pm

Great history lesson Veerle! Happiest Valentine’s day!

My hubby is out of town, but he didn’t forget to call. We met 11 years ago on the 15th of February.  <3



permalink this comment kmccaul Sun Feb 20, 2005 at 01.36 pm

I believe it was 1978 or 79 when the bigwigs at Rome decided to take away Valentine’s sainthood.

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