Article: The History of St. Valentine's Day

Valentine traditions blends elements of both Roman rites and the Christian tradition. To confuse matters, three Valentine's holy name are recognized by the Roman Catholic Church.

One legend says Valentine was a priest in Rome during the third century. Emperor Claudius II decreed that marriage would be illegal for young men because they thought that only men did better than the soldiers who were married with families.

Valentine felt the decree was unjust and unfair, and defied the emperor by secretly performing marriages for young lovers. When his fans for covert action was discovered, Claudius ordered Valentine execute.

However, according to another legend, Valentine may have actually sent the first 'Valentine' greeting himself. In 270 AD, the day before it was to be executed for refusing to renounce their Christian beliefs, it is said that he sent a thank-you note to his jailer's daughter to bring food and delivery of messages while he was imprisoned, signed "your Valentine. "

While we can never be certain as to the true origin of the legend of St. Valentine, one thing is sure, must have been an attractive and durable history because the Middle Ages, Valentine has become one of the most popular saints France and Britain.

The timing of Valentine's Day may have been driven by the practice of trying to integrate the earlier pagan festivals in the Christian calendar. In this case, the festival of Lupercalia.

Lupercalia, which began in the ides of February, "is a festival dedicated to the god Lupercus agricultural fertility and the Goddess of Love, Juno, and the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. Roman maidens put their names in an urn in the creation of public squares and young singles are released to get a 'quote' for next year. In most cases, these parties are often the year ended in marriage.

Valentine's Day was first established in February 14 by Pope Gelasius around 500 AD. By this time, the "lottery" system has considered dating a Christian and had been banned. During the Middle Ages, the practice of love lotteries conducted as "Opportunity Funds." In France, the drawings of boxes of young couples took a year to get married or part company. In England, it was common practice for men to carry the name of the girl who took the opportunity to cash in his sleeve, inside a heart.

Also during this period is commonly believed in parts of England and France, February 14 marked the beginning of birds' mating season, which raised the idea that Valentine's Day should be a day for romance.

Valentine messages began to appear early in the fifteenth century, and even in these days of training that is often given anonymously.

The oldest known Valentine in the world still in existence today is a romantic ode written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London after his capture during the Battle of Agincourt. The greeting was written in 1415 and is part of the collection of manuscripts from the British Library in London.

In Britain, Valentine's Day became a popular celebration around the 1600's. Continued to take, with the familiar "roses are red, violets are blue ..." making his debut verses sometime in the seventeenth century. In 1850, it was common for lovers of all social classifications to give his beloved small gifts or handwritten letters. At the same time in France, people began to decorate their Valentines with ribbons and lace.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, the letters by hand gave way to the cards as advances in printing technology has improved the quality of the printed cards. At the time, was discouraged culture for people to show their emotions in a direct way, such as a letter, so a printed card was a more acceptable. More affordable shipping costs and the growing use of the postal system likely contributed to the rise in popularity of Valentine's card.

Americans probably began exchanging hand Valentine poems in the early 1700s. In the mid-nineteenth century, the first mass-produced Valentine started the sale in the United States. Miss Esther Howland, an artist and businessman, became the first regular publisher of Valentines in the U.S.. Often as the 'Mother of the Valentine, "Miss Howland designed many elaborate creations using lace, ribbons and pictures of colors known as" junk. "Their cards typically cost between $ 5 - $ 10 each, with some as much as $ 35, surprisingly expensive for the time.

Greeting Card Association estimates that of whether to include children in the classroom Valentine, more than one billion Valentine cards will be opened this year. Valentine's Day is the second largest card sending time of the year, representing 25% of total card sales season (Christmas accounts for 60%).

It is estimated that women buy 80 percent of all Valentine cards, meaning that a large proportion of people either forget or are not very romantic in reciprocity! Valentine's Day is celebrated in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, UK, France and Australia, and is increasing in popularity in many other parts of the world.

Facts about Valentine's Day cards (the Greeting Card Association)

Approximately 25% of Valentine's Day cards are humorous, with adults aged 35 and under to be the most likely to send cards humor.
Valentine's Day is the biggest e-card sending occasion of the year. An estimated 14 million will be sent e-Valentine in 2008.
Greeting cards are traditionally the most popular gift for Valentine's Day in the U.S., ranking ahead of chocolates, flowers or dinner out.
Men may be more serious about Valentine's Day than women. In a national survey in 2007, ACG, 45% of women said they could give a humorous Valentine's Day with his sweetheart, compared to only 34% of men.
The percentage of each of the Valentine through the exchange of mail delivery as compared to approximately 50-50.
Red is the color most popular choice for Valentine's Day cards, follow the pink and then white. Hearts, roses, Cupid and lace are the icons of traditional Valentine's card.

image: catholictradition .org