are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day.
Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman
who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on
February 14, 269 A.D.,
the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries.
Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's
daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine".
aspects of the story say that
served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius.
Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope
Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St.
Gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and
St. Valentine became the
patron saint of lovers.
The date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers.
There was often a social gathering or a ball.
the United States,
Miss Esther Howland is given credit for sending the first valentine
cards. Commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800's and now the
date is very commercialised. The town of
does a large post office business around February 14. The spirit of good
continues as valentines are sent out with sentimental verses and children
exchange valentine cards at school.