Sunday, February 14, 2016

Today in History

The Mysterious Patron of Lovers

Today, according to tradition, around the year 270, the Christian priest Valentine was martyred. He was later buried near the Milvian Bridge which spans the Tiber. There is not much else that is actually known about him, but there are several traditions about him.

One of the popular traditions about Saint Valentine was executed by order of the Emperor Claudius II for the crime of secretly performing marriages between men and women of Rome.

According to this tradition, Claudius, you see, was concerned about low military enlistment. He thought that men with families were reluctant to be soldiers. He therefore decreed that no more marriages were to be performed in Rome. Valentine was jailed, where he performed several miracles, and eventually executed. This version of the story is chiefly derived from the Nuremberg Chronicle, an illustrated biblical paraphrase an history book written in 1493.

Around the 14th Century, with the rise of courtly love, the Feast of St. Valentine began to be associated with romantic love. By the 18th century, expressing one's love on Valentine's Day with gifts of flowers, candy, and greeting cards.

I wish you all a very Happy Valentine's day!

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