Last night, I was at a bookstore nearby my job searching for a few Valentine’s Day cards to give to my loved ones. Most of the cards were cute enough – red and pink hearts, winged cupid flying with his heart-tipped arrows, and countless animals in all their cuteness.
But one card stood out among the rest. It said “St. Valentine Greeting” across the front. Of course I had to get it! Today, when I had a free moment at work, I surfed the Internet for information on St. Valentine.
St. Valentine was a martyr in the early church. He died in 269. I couldn’t find any historical information on why greeting cards and gifts are sent on his feast day. A few sites did say recount legends of his life, and said that while imprisoned before being martyred he signed a card “From your Valentine.” I am not sure of the truthfulness of that particular tale.
However, in a book from the Middle Ages, The Nuremberg Chronicle, it says that St. Valentine was martyred for performing marriages during a time when Christians were being persecuted. Based on that, it makes sense that he is the patron saint of love, engaged couples and happy marriages.
For all of you out there, Happy Valentine’s Day!