Valentine’s Day is a festival that cherishes love and romance. The festival falls on February 14 every year and is celebrated in several countries across the world including US, UK, Canada, Japan, France, China and India.
One of the most popular legends says, Valentine or Valentinus lived in Rome when the country was under the reign of Emperor Claudius II. It is said that Claudius engaged Rome in several unpopular and bloody campaigns. To maintain a strong army, Claudius continuously needed to recruit soldiers. But to his disappointment Claudius found that most men were unwilling to join army because of their strong attachment with their wives and their families.
To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome.
A romantic at heart priest, Valentine, secretly arranged marriages of young boys and girls and defied this unjustified and callous order of Claudius. When the Emperor discovered this defiance, he put Valentine behind bars and he was finally executed on February 14, about 270 AD. For his great service, Valentine was named a saint after his death.
By Middle Ages, Saint Valentine became the patron saint of love and lovers in England and France. In 498 AD, when Pope Gelasius decided to put an end to pagan celebration of Feast of Lupercalia, he declared that 14th February be celebrated as St Valentine’s Day.
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