The most popular martyrology associated with Valentine’s was a Christian saint named Valentinus that was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. During his imprisonment, he is said to have healed (others say fell in love with) the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote a letter to her that included the words “From Your Valentine” an expression still used today.
The day was first associated with romantic love in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering candies, and sending greeting cards (known as “Valentines“). Today’s Valentine’s Day symbols include hearts, doves, and winged Cupids.
Isn’t it GREAT to be just a wee bit smarter today! Now go and impress your mate by showing your knowledge of this most romantically evolved day of the year!