European Christian holiday, originally the Roman feast of Lupercalia.
It was christianized in memory of the martyrdom of St. Valentine,
a Roman priest who was persecuted and imprisoned for helping
that the reason why men would not go to war was because they
did not want to leave their wives and families, Emperor Claudius
II decided to cancel all marriages and engagements. Valentine
decided to marry all couples in secret and for this he was arrested
by Emperor Claudius II and was kept in prison. It is said that
he was often visited by the daughter of a prison guard and they
became friends. On the day he died, he left her a farewell note
and signed: "From your Valentine". Valentine was beaten
to death in Rome on February, 14 269 AD., after refusing to give
up the Christian faith.
death took place at a time of year when the pagan feast Lupercalia
was celebrated. The beheading, which was public, was probably
incorporated into the pagan celebration. As Christianity spread
throughout the world, Christian priests began to look favorably
upon pagan festivals, turning them into Christian celebrations.
It is likely that Lupercalia became increasingly associated with
St. Valentine and his farewell note to his friend, leading to
the eventual popularity of sentimental cards and letters. In
469 A.D. Pope Gelasius set February 14th as a day to honor him.
England, the celebration of February 14th grew during the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries through gift giving. In the Americas,
colonists brought with them the customs of Valentine's Day. The
holiday was celebrated by the exchange of romantic or comic verse
messages called valentines. in the beginning, Valentines
were manufactured and imported from England, but by mid-century,
Worcester, Massachusetts, emerged as a center for the production
of valentine cards. Esther Howland (1828-1904), born in Worcester,
MA, was a pioneer in the American valentine manufacturing industry
and established one of the first commercial valentine enterprises
in America in the 1840s.
don't celebrate the Valentine's Day on February 14th in Brazil,
but June 12th is the day all lovers exchange presents. It's an
especial day to give cards, flowers and gifts to the person we
love and go out for a romantic dinner. This day is called "Dia
obtained at Encarta, Encyclopedia.com and American Antiquarian Society.