A Project for Better Journalism chapter

The history behind the day of love

Although Valentine’s Day is considered a romantic day to give flowers, candy, chocolates and gifts to the loved ones, on this exact same day during the third century it was the complete opposite of a happy ending day. There is a history behind this day that many may not know.

“Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death,” history.com said.

The emperor believed that those who were “single-men” were better soldiers than those who were married and had kids because they were afraid to die, and as a result they wouldn’t be focused during war and not fight as good because it would concern them to dye and leave their families alone. Valentine stood up for what he believed was right he even contradicted with the highest rank person – the emperor. Until his last day of life he continued doing what he believed was right, that a man should marry a woman because it was something sacred and for this reason he is remembered for his courage every year by celebrating him on St. Valentines Day.

“According to legend, the priest signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended and, by some accounts, healed from blindness,” britannica.com said.

The phrase “from your valentine” comes from when Valentine was locked up in jail by commands of the emperor for contradicting him. Asterius was one of the men who was to “judge him in line with the Roman law”, he had a daughter who was blind which eventually became Valentine’s lover. Before being decapitated on February 14, Valentine wrote his last words to her with this exact same closure, which is now used by many people on this special day.

“Although Valentine’s Day is traditionally known as a special day for couples, dont worry if you’re single eventually that special someone will come to your life, but for the moment just love yourself,” Armando Mendoza, 11, said.