2. The History of Valentine’s Day

It’s All About St. Valentine…Maybe? Despite the annual hullabaloo, the origins of Valentine’s Day aren’t widely known. The legend of St. Valentine likely dates back to the third century. The Catholic Church recognized three different saints under the name of Valentine, but most sources believe the St. Valentine in question was a priest in ancient Rome. As the story goes, Emperor Claudius II forbade marriage for all young men, because single men often became more dedicated soldiers. Valentine ignored the decree and continued to conduct marriage ceremonies for young couples…until Claudius found out. We’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

So that settles it, right? St. Valentine was the original champion of young lovers? Not so fast. Two more Valentine legends have been uncovered. Some believe St. Valentine actually worked to help Christians escape unfair imprisonment. When he was eventually jailed himself, he gave the first “valentine” card when he fell head over heels for his jailor’s daughter. Still, others believe that Valentine’s Day was an attempt to Christianize a pagan celebration called Lupercalia. The annual fertility festival began on February 15th and often concluded with several marriages.

So which story is the real one? We’ll never know for sure, but we do know that people shaped his story into a meaningful one. St. Valentine became a representation of more than just romance. The tales of forbidden marriages and secret love notes were touching, but it was the selflessness and empathy behind his acts of kindness that made February 14th so special.

St. Valentine’s Lesson: True Love Isn’t About Chocolates and Strawberries

Life would be easier if we could follow a one-size-fits-all checklist for the perfect Valentine’s Day. Jewelry? Check! Chocolates? Check! Weird talking teddy bear holding a heart? Check! Sadly, true love is rarely that easy. Instead of checking boxes, reflect on how you can approach this Valentine’s Day with empathy.

Whether you’ve been married for 20 years, started dating two months ago, are still searching for Mr. or Mrs. Right, or are happily flying solo, Valentine’s Day can be an opportunity to show your loved ones (and yourself!) how much you care.
3. Cost-free Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2019
4. Local Gift Ideas
5. Restaurant Recommendations