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Valentine's Day Facts You May Not Know

Valentine's Day Facts

According to legend, in the 3rd century, Emperor Claudius II of Rome believed that single men made better soldiers than those who were married with families. As a result, he outlawed marriage for young men, hoping to bolster his army's strength.

However, Saint Valentine, a Christian priest, defied Claudius's decree by continuing to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. Valentine's actions were eventually discovered, and he was sentenced to death for his defiance. While imprisoned, it's said that Valentine fell in love with the jailer's daughter and sent her a letter signed "From your Valentine" before his execution, a phrase still used today.

Interestingly, in the Middle Ages, young men and women would draw names to see who their Valentine would be. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This is believed to be the origin of the expression "to wear your heart on your sleeve."

The oldest known Valentine's greeting was written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. But it was not until the 19th century that the practice of sending greeting cards became popular. Before then, it was common for friends and lovers to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes.

Although not entirely connected, the essence of these traditions—celebrating love and expressing it openly—captures the spirit of defiance and commitment to the ideals of love, reminiscent of Saint Valentine's story.

Valentine's Day, as celebrated today, honours this legacy by allowing individuals to express their love and affection, a testament to the enduring power of love over decrees and adversity.


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