Why Do We Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

February 14, 2013    |    By +
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When I first think of Valentine’s Day, I think of greeting cards and stressed out couples trying to romance each other at the last minute with cliche’ gifts. But, this holiday of hearts and cupids has a much more dramatic (and interesting) past.

“St. Valentine’s Day began as a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. The most popular martyrology associated with Saint Valentine was that he 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 the daughter of his jailer Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote “from your Valentine” as a farewell note to her.

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 confectionery, and sending hand-written greeting cards (known as “valentines”). Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.” –

So, next time you think that Valentine’s Day was invented by greeting card companies to make us spend money…remember that we are honoring someone who truly believed in love. That is pretty amazing and should inspire us all to go out and show our loved ones how much they mean to us…maybe with a handwritten note, maybe with a gift, but always with love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at Gifts.com. She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

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