Society & Culture & Entertainment Philosophy

St Valentine - A Brilliant Salesman

Valentine's Day is once again approaching fast.
This annual tribute to love is celebrated on the fourteenth of February.
On this one-day of the year lovers declare their love in many different ways.
Celebration meals and the exchange of gifts are popular ways in which loved ones display their love and commitment to their partners.
The shops abound with gifts with trimmings in red, chocolate boxes are repacked for this event, and florists order red roses months in advance to ensure they meet the demand.
Who would have thought that "St Valentine" would have such an impact on the economy of so many countries? So, who was this phenomenal "businessman"? There are numerous theories about the origins of Valentine's Day and after whom it was named.
Valentine's Day, as we know it today, has both Christian and ancient Roman roots.
One of the theories concerns the time of "Claudius the Cruel", the Roman Emperor Claudius II.
He believed that men did not want to leave their loved ones and families.
But, he needed to get more soldiers to join his military leagues, so, he cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome, hoping to get more soldiers to join his military leagues.
Fortunately for a Roman priest and his friend, Saint Valentine and Saint Marius, they defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.
When Valentine's actions were discovered he was sentenced to death by beating.
It was in prison where he fell in love with a young girl who visited him regularly.
It is alleged that he wrote her a letter, believed to be the first Valentine's card, signed "from your Valentine".
He died on the 14th of February, celebrated today as Valentine's Day.
The ancient Roman pagan custom where boys drew girl's names from a love urn on February 15 was transferred by the early Christian Church to the popular St Valentine's feast day rather than abolish it.
Valentine's Day is also associated with the Feast of Lupercalia, a love festival honoring a pagan Roman god.
This feast was traditionally held for two weeks beginning on February 15th.
In 496 AD Pope Gelasius tried to limit the more pagan elements of the feast and changed the date of the festival to the 14th.
At this time the Pope canonized Valentine, who became forever linked with the celebration of love and the commemoration of Valentine.
By the eighteenth century Valentine's Day evolved into gift giving and the exchange of hand-made cards made of lace, ribbons featuring cupids and hearts.
The tradition of cards spread to the United States in the 1850s.
In the United States, Miss Esther Howland is given credit for sending the first valentine card.
Commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800's.

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