Valentine's day history goes back to Roman times. The emperor Claudius II was a student of human nature and way back in AD 287 he calculated that single men made braver soldiers than married men.
Therefore, as Claudius had absolute power, he dictated than no soldier should marry. A Roman called Valentinus thought that this was rough justice and secretly married soldiers who had a sweetheart. When Claudius discovered that Valentinus had defied his decree he threw Valentinus into jail. Whilst incarcerated, Valentinus fell in love with the gaoler's
daughter and sent her the first ever card -
from your sweet Valentine.
Much later, in AD 496 Pope Gelasius, chose 14 February as the day to honour
and remember Saint Valentine. Unfortunately, tantalisingly little is known
about these early origins of St
Valentine. In the history of St Valentine's day, it is the 17th century which was the most important
and truly romantic era. The 14th of February
became important as a day to exchange love notes by sending poems and gifts. Sometimes dances and small festivals were held. In modern times, 1416, Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent one of the earliest
Valentines, from his imprisonment in the Tower of London after the Battle of Agincourt. He sent several Valentine poems to his wife in France.
St Valentine 'Not the saint of love' Britain's Roman Catholic Church is advising lovelorn singles to direct
their 14 February requests for love to St Raphael, rather than St Valentine.
Over the years St Valentine has come incorrectly to be associated with
finding love, the Church says. He is the patron saint for those who
have already found their soul mate. St Raphael is the patron saint for
happy encounters and it is to him those fearing the Valentine's post should
properly direct their prayers.
First Valentine Love Story
A lasting Legacy of 500-year-old Love Love it or hate it, even the most hardened anti-Romeo will be hard
pressed to avoid Valentine's Day this year. Here is a letter which is on show at the British Library. It is a
letter, written from a young woman to her love, and is the first
mention of the word Valentine in the English language. The letter shows they were no different to us, write Will and Guy.
They had the same loves, desires and financial problems. In 1477 Margery wrote a letter to her John pleading with him not to
give her up, despite her parents' refusal to increase her dowry. Addressing her 'ryght welebeloued Voluntyne' (right well-beloved
Valentine), she promised to be a good wife, adding, 'Yf that ye loffe me
as Itryste verely that ye do ye will not leffe me" ' (If you love me, I
trust.. you will not leave me). While romantics 534 years later might celebrate Valentine's Day with
fine dining, chocolates and flowers, Margery is left pleading with her
love not to leave her while pledging her heart over all 'earthly
things'. She promises her undying love, 'Myne herte me bydds ever more to love
yowe truly' (My heart me bids ever more to love you truly), and speaks
of her ailing body and heart over her fiance's continuing silence. However, modern-day lovers be reassured, like any self-respecting
fairytale romance the heart did rule the head and, despite her father's
stubbornness over her dowry, Margery did marry her knight and the couple
had a son, William, in 1479. Margery died in 1495, John in 1503. While her letter is also written on paper, there is one key
difference. She didn't write it herself we have learned. It would have
been dictated to a man who would have written it for her. However, says
Julian Harrison, curator, 'The fact that she isn't writing the letter
doesn't mean she can't write, it means she can afford someone to write
for her. People have assumed that people in the past were illiterate,
but actually levels of literacy may have been higher than we think.' A marvellous tale with which to celebrate Valentine's Day.
Valentine Day Crafts and Customs
home country of Wales wooden love spoons are made and given as presents on 14 February. Hearts, keys and keyholes feature as decorations on these carved spoons as and invitation to 'unlock my
heart'. Valentines day history in Medieval times saw the youth of the time wearing names drawn from a hat on their sleeves. Hence the modern expression 'to wear your heart on your sleeve'
. This means that other people can easily see
what you are feeling. If a young lady sees a sparrow on February 14th flying overhead it means that she will marry a poor man and be extremely happy. If she saw a robin she would marry a mariner. A goldfinch
seen by a woman meant that she would marry into riches. St Valentine's
commercialisation probably began with the making and selling of cards in the 18th century. Women in the 18th century would
names on paper, roll them in clay and place them in a bowl of water. The first paper to rise to
the surface would contain the name of a woman's
Never have children, only grandchildren. Gore Vidal
Rosette Nebula - Especially for Valentines
Valentine Food - Raspberry Tart
Please send us your pictures for Wednesday
14th February 2013.
See more dates for 2013. Also check the day of the week
for these festivals:
• Chinese New Year 2013
• Valentine's Day 2013
• Tour de France 2012
• Halloween 2013 • Shrove Tuesday 2012 •
Thanksgiving 2013 •
Christmas 2013 •
Valentine's Day 2013 • Ramadan 2012 •
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