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Happy Valentine's Day

I tried to uncover the origins of Valentine's Day -- after all, isn't that what the Internet does best?  In so doing, I discovered interesting facts about this most romantic day of the year: 
The origins of Valentine's Day apparently began in approximately 269 A.D., when a Roman priest named Valentine died as a martyr.  At a time when the Government of Rome forbid the marriage of Christian couples, this priest both ignored and defied this command.  He refused to repudiate Christianity, continued to perform Christian marriages and eventually his stubborness landed him in prison, where he continued to practice his faith.
While in jail he communicated with the couples he had married and became friendly with the daughter of his jailer, and, we are told, exchanged love letters with her.  He was executed on February 14, 269 A.D.  He left a farewell letter to the jailer's daughter which was signed "From your Valentine."  
The legend of Valentine grew in Italy and Europe and in 496 A.D. the priest was honored with sainthood and his day of martyrdom became a day for lovers to celebrate his work.
According to Wikipedia, the first recorded association of Valentine's Day with romantic love is in the poem "Parlement of Foules" by Geoffrey Chaucer.   His poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia.  A treaty providing for a marriage was signed on May 2, 1381. When they were married eight months later, they were each only 15 years old.
We all know how to celebrate Valentine's Day. You can buy cards, candies, flowers or other gifts which are considered to be "romantic" and are lining the store shelves, just waiting to be purchased. In many cases Valentine's Day comes with a marriage proposal -- and I have friends who actually went to City Hall in New York to get married on Valentine's Day, only to find approximately 50 couples waiting to do just that in front of them.  It's hard to trace how legends begin, but it's nice to know that in this world where terorism has become a household word and parents are afraid to allow children to walk home alone from school, there is a still one day in the calendar year when love really conquers.


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Today is: April 19, 2019 - 4:27pm
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