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A glimpse into Valentine’s Day

By Titos Makondo

MANKIND across the world observe Valentine’s Day on February 14th, while many seem to have figured the purpose and namesake behind this holiday yet one may love to learn about how it came into existing?

Valentine, according to Collins Dictionary, “is someone you love or the card you send to the person you love on Saint Valentine’s Day.” Therefore, Valentine’s Day is all about love in action. It’s a day of red roses, teddy bears and chocolate galore.

Literally, the sense of celebrating Valentine’s Day is of expressing and showing care and consideration to one another. Which is why some assume that this day is strictly meant for lovebirds to acquire of their love and relationship status. Which is why some believe that no valentine spoils mean no love and vice versa.

But a close look behind history’s curtain shows that Valentine’s Day was established long ago in honor of a martyr called Valentine, who died on February 14th in the third century. According to history, Valentine’s Day derives its name from Saint Valentine despite several stories pertaining to this famous name.

The Stories Behind Saint Valentine

History reveals that Valentine was a Roman priest in the third century. When Emperor Claudius II noted that young men love having nice time with their darlings instead of participating in military, he barred marriage for young men to shift focus. Unsettled with Claudius’s abusive law, Valentine made up his mind to thwart it and continued to marry young women in secret. When the grapes beat on him, CIaudius ordered he must be killed.

While in prison, it’s believed that Valentine sent the first “Valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl, possible his jailor’s daughter, who visited him during his incarceration. Before his death, he wrote a letter signed ” From your Valentine”, an expression that is still in use to date and he sent out other letters to his friends and asked for prayers by writing “Remember your Valentine”.

Other sources propose that Saint Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help christians to escape the severe Roman prisons, where they were often tormented. Despite the stories being parallel, they all point out to Valentine as a hero, martyr and a romantic figure, executed on the 14th February, 270 and so nations commemorate Valentine’s Day on the 14th of February in honor of Valentine.

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