The History of Valentine’s Day by Barbara Schlichting

img_3160          The history of Valentine’s Day, legend says, originated during the third century in Rome. During this time, Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers, so he outlawed marriage for young men. A young priest named Valentine was furious with this injustice and defied Claudius by continuing to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. Claudius eventually discovered Valentine’s actions and sentenced him to death.

During his time in jail, Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter, who visited him in prison. Before he was put to death, Valentine sent a letter to the girl and signed it, “From Your Valentine” — an expression we still use today. Valentine was executed on February 14, 270 AD. Later, around 496 AD, Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14 a day to honor Valentine, who by that time had become a saint.

Today, we continue to honor St. Valentine and recall the history of Valentine’s Day each year on February 14 by celebrating our love for significant others, friends, and family. For thousands of years, the middle of February has been a time for fertility festival celebrations, so it is no wonder Valentine’s Day flowers are often the Valentine’s Day gift of choice around this time of year. For centuries, flowers have symbolized fertility, love, marriage, and romance.

           August 23 2012 ProFlowers

Many couples are married on Valentine’s Day. I have photos of Presidents and First Ladies featured on my blog. They’re fun to look at and remember some of the families that lived in our White House.  Here are a couple pictures.

Mr. and Mrs. Obama   Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy   Mr. and Mrs. Wilson  Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln

My mystery series, The First Ladies Mystery Series is set in a White House Dollhouse Shop in Minneapolis, MN.  Please take a look at my website and First Lady blog to learn more about me and my books.

Barb’s Books              First Lady Blog





8 thoughts on “The History of Valentine’s Day by Barbara Schlichting

  1. Wow that is interesting. I had no idea why we celebrated Valentine’s Day or how it came about! And I’m ashamed to admit I never questioned why. Now I will remember poor Valentine when I send a card. Enjoyed your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So love prevails over all but the executioner’s axe? Sorry… couldn’t resist. Remember elementary school days when you’d make Valentines and give them to your girl classmates? Or if you’re a girl, the boys in your class.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve given and received a lot of Valentines without knowing, or wondering about, the history of the day. The only White House weddings I remember are those of Lynda Bird Johnson and Jenna Bush. So thanks for the information. I enjoyed the post about weddings on the First Lady blog, too.


  4. I vaguely remember reading years ago an account of St. Valentine’s story that said the dailor’s daughter who visited him was blind. This may have been a fictionalized account, and it was in a christian magazine for the blind, so go figure. Anyway, thanks for reminding ⠍


  5. I’ve read a few versions of the origin of Valentine’s Day- with the same basic story as above. That Emperor Claudius II wasn’t a popular man, at least I don’t think so. 😉


  6. I love the story of Valentine’s Day. I have Catholic friends, so I’ve heard the legend and have always thought it a lovely one. Great pictures to go with your blog, Barb, and of course nicely ties in with your writing — GREAT JOB! 🙂 Hope you had a super Valentine’s Day!!


  7. So I wonder where the cupids, hearts and flowers originated from. Thanks for sharing this interesting bit of history.


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