The Origins of Saint Valentine’s Day
There are several theories how Valentine’s Day became a holiday. Some begin with a pagan celebration and others involve another day all together, “Galatin’s Day”. Since the scholar’s cannot agree, we’ll tell you our favorite.
The story begins with the emperor of Rome, Claudius II in third century. Claudius Gothicus as he was commonly know, spent his entire life in the military. First as a soldier and commander of the elite cavalry force. With his success against the Goths, his troops declared Claudius Emperor and that was that.
Claudius continued to grow the Roman Empire and having commanded many young soldiers, believed the best soldiers did not have families to worry about when they entered battle.
Marriage is Sacred
This did not set well with the millennial generation of the time. The church upheld the belief that marriage was a sacred vow between a man and a woman and should be encouraged and protected. However, violation of the Emperor’s law was punishable by death.
The Millennial Hero
Enter a simple priest named Valentine. Valentine also believes that young people have the right to marry and was vocal about his beliefs. Denied of their rights to love, young people searched for this outspoken priest and sought his counsel. Denying the Emperor, Valentine clandestinely met with these young lovers and consecrated their vows in secret.
Valentine is Found Out
As with all good things, the word of Valentine’s deeds reached the near and far. Eventually the local centurions heard about this priest breaking the law and Valentine was arrested. His trial was short and he was “triple executed” (we’ll not mention those details here).
As people learned of Valentine’s brave stand, more priests were moved to perform marriages under the threat of capital punishment. Because of this, many young people were allowed to share their vows and express their love.
In the 5th Century, moved by the story of Valentine, Pope Gelasius I anointed him Saint Valentine. He declared February 14th the day to celebrate love and the sanctity of marriage and called it St. Valentine’s Day.
Romance is in the Air
Fast forward a couple of hundred years to the 1700s and Americans began exchanging what we typically think of as “Valentine’s”. Esther A. Howland is the “Mother of the American Valentine” since she was the first one to mass produce the cards. And the rest is history…today there are millions and millions of Valentine’s sent each year.
Today, school age kids exchange candies and Valentine’s Day cards with their classmates. Teenagers share roses and chocolates with their crushes. Young adults give their loved ones gifts of betrothal. Married couples reaffirm their vows.
Give the Gift of Love
We may be a little biased (“romance” is in our name after all) but we’re sure a gift of jewelry is a fantastic way to let that special someone know you love them so.
Come by the store or request an appointment and let us help you find the perfect present!