There are several theories about the history of Valentine’s Day, although there is a particular one that seems to have taken on more force over time. In the times of Ancient Rome, about 15 gods were worshiped and Christians were persecuted. However, there were priests who insisted that people should get married under Christian rituals.
Valentine was one of those who dedicated himself to marrying couples even though the emperor had forbidden him. The Roman leader had a belief that married soldiers were not as good or efficient as the single ones, because the married soldiers always wanted to return to their homes and their wives and single soldiers did not have the same urgency. In Ancient Rome, February 15th was the day of fertility or Lupercalia (in honor of the god Lupercus) and most people wanted to get married on that date.
The emperor found out that Valentine was arranging clandestine marriages and ordered him to stop. It was at that moment that the priest tried to Christianize him. Although at first Claudius II was attracted by the religion that the same Romans persecuted, the soldiers and the own Governor of Rome forced him to desist and organized a campaign against Valentine. The Roman emperor changed his mind and ordered the Governor of Rome to prosecute the priest. This prosecution was carried out by Asterius, his lieutenant.
When he was in front of Valentine he ridiculed the Christian religion and wanted to test him. He asked if he would be able to return the sight to one of his daughters who was blind from birth. The priest accepted and he carried out the miracle in the name of God, Christianizing the girl. But there was a problem, Valentine fell in love with the girl. On the eve of his execution, he sent her a farewell note that he signed with the words “from your Valentine”, hence the origin of the love letters and poems that are sent by the lovers on this date. Lieutenant Asterius and his entire family converted to Christianity but could not detain the execution of Valentine. Valentine was beheaded on February 14 of 270 AD.
At the beginning of the XVIII century, the Americans adopted this custom. The advances of the printing press and the drop in the prices of the postal service encouraged the sending of Valentine’s greetings. Around 1840, Esther A. Howland began selling mass produced Valentine postcards in the United States.
In 1969 the Vatican withdrew February 14th from the Catholic calendar as the official feast of Saint Valentine, considering that they knew very little about his life or his miracles, the reality is that the popularity of the character has increased over the years. Valentine’s Day has stopped being a religious date and has become a fundamental element of popular culture.
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