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Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is a Western Christian holiday honoring the early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine.  Numerous martyrdom stories connect multiple Saint Valentines to the holiday with the early adaptations referring the saint to the miracle of sight in a blind daughter of his own jailer and later adaptations focused on romance and the addition of “Your Valentine” letters.

Officially the holiday stated as the Feast of Saint Valentine by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD to honor the passing of Saint Valentine who died February 14th 269 AD.  It is estimated that the event became associated with romance and love in the 14th and 15th centuries when the notions of “courtly love” became a basic concept within the event.   The event started to become fully associated with love in 18th century England as couples started presenting gifts and flowers to each other and started a tradition of giving cards to their loves known as “valentines”.

Since the 19th century, mass produced valentine’s day cards have become the standard and many now consider the event a “hallmark holiday” as couples spend small fortunes on exchanging gifts.  The holiday is celebrated every February 14th but is not a public holiday in any nation.


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