History of Valentine’s Day!  

Staff Writer: Olivia O’Connor 

Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Valentine’s Day? Where did it even come from and why is it such a big deal? Well, I’m here to explain. 

Valentine’s Day occurs on February 14th every year and is celebrated worldwide and is most popular in the United States, Brazil, France, and South Africa. On this day, people give their loved one’s flowers, chocolates, and gifts to show their appreciation and affection for one another.  

This day originated with the ancient Romans and the Catholic Church. There are many legends and many different stories that have been passed down generation to generation but what they have in common is that these stories and legends all surround one person, Valentine. One legend claims that Valentine, a priest, was murdered for defying Emperor Claudias II of Rome who said that men were better warriors if they weren’t married. The emperor outlawed marriage and Valentine was outraged. Valentine then continued to secretly perform marriages but was found out and put to death but became a martyr known as St. Valentine.  

St. Valentine looks over the people in the Catholic Church. Photo Credit: catholic.org 

According to another legend, Valentine was known as Valentinus and was a Christian living in Rome and also did secret marriages against Emperor Claudias II will. Valentinus was found out and was brought to Claudias. Emperor Claudias tried to convert Valentinus back to paganism but the priest, Valentinus, refused and instead tried to convert Emperor Claudias but he wasn’t successful and was sent back to prison to be executed. 

In prison, Valentinus met a blind woman and decided to perform a miracle on her. He prayed for her, and her sight came back instantly. On the before his execution, Valentinus wrote the young woman a letter saying good-bye and ended it with the words “From your Valentine”. The next day, on February 14th, Valentinus was executed.  

In all the different legends and folk tales, St. Valentine was a noble, passionate, and heroic man who cared for others and knew right from wrong. And most importantly he was known as a romantic figure and became one of the most popular saints throughout England and France. February 14th was then marked as an official church feast day, St. Valentine’s Day.  

Today, Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular holidays throughout the world and is celebrated regardless of religion. It’s also popular with schools. Many Elementary, Middle, and High Schools celebrate this day by having a food day in class where students can bring in their favorite treats and goodies to share with each other. At some schools, students can buy carnations to give to their significant other or to their friends to celebrate this festive day. 

These little candies are very popular during Valentine’s Day. Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker 

Valentine’s Day is important to many students at Woodstock High School. Kayla Nixon, a junior, says, “Valentine’s Day is important to me because I get to show my friends how much I appreciate them. Also, I like Valentine’s Day because it’s about the love of friends and family, not just about the love of significant others. I don’t have to be in a relationship to celebrate this lovely holiday.” Emma O’Connor, an eighth grader at Woodstock Middle School, says, “I like Valentine’s Day because I get to give my friends and family goodies and I also get them in return. My school sometimes has little parties in class too.”  

Valentine’s Day will always be remembered as the day of love, friendship, and joy.  

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