valentine's day origin

If I had a rose for every time I thought of you,
I'd walk through a garden forever ~Author Unknown

St. Valentine’s Day is a day devoted to love and friendship. We take the opportunity to share our feelings both in words and deeds. Our thoughts of love are conveyed through many representations of this special day. We exchange cards that say, "I love you." Red and pink hearts, flowers, doves, and Cupid are other images associated with St. Valentine’s Day. The day has been celebrated for centuries. In fact, the February festivities can be traced back to the time of the Roman Empire.


The Festival of Lupercalia
The Romans held an annual feast that commenced on February 15 and lasted for several days. The celebration honored Lupercus, the god of fertility, woodlands, and pastures. Lupercus protected the people from wolves and looked after their crops and animals. The Festival of Lupercalia was practiced for hundreds of years until the coming of Christianity. Although the festival celebrated a Roman god, the people still enjoyed the activities surrounding the celebration. In time, the Roman Catholic leadership transferred the focus of the celebration from Lupercus to a priest named Valentine who was put to death by Claudius II of Rome on February 14, 271. In A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius I changed the festival from February 15 to February 14 to honor St. Valentine.

The First Valentine
History considers the first Valentine to have been written by a French nobleman, Charles, Duke of Orleans in 1415. The Duke was taken captive at the Battle of Agincourt. He was put in the Tower of London where he wrote lover letters to his wife.

The St. Valentine’s Day Card

England manufacturers began to make valentine cards in the 1800s. England shipped cards all over the world and dominated the market until the middle of the century. The one-page cards had black and white pictures printed on pretty paper. Manufacturers had workers hand paint some of the pictures while others were sold plain for consumers to paint. By 1840, paper lace and ornamentation was sewed or glued to the card. The ornate cards were decorated with ornaments made of silk, satin, velvet, feathers or spun glass. The first machine-made valentine cards were introduced in the United States around 1880. The more costly hand-made valentines were soon replaced by machine created cards, which cost mere pennies for the consumer.



Who is Cupid (Amor)? 


Cupid was the Roman god of love. The Roman tales of Cupid are derived from Greek mythology. The Romans had no deity similar to the Greek god of love, Eros, son of Aphrodite, goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. As a result, they adopted the Greek god and changed his name to Cupido or Cupid.

The Romans depicted Cupid as a mischievous infant. Cupid is winged and armed with a bow and arrows. He flies about shooting people with his invisible arrows to make them fall in love.

St. Valentine’s Day & Romance Stories
There is never a better month than February to enjoy a good romance story! Each time we share the experience of our heroes and heroines, we celebrate the sentiments of love honored on Valentine’s Day.