What's the story behind Valentine's Day?
The Huffington Post filled me in on some ideas. While the history of Valentine's Day is sometimes debated, it clearly links back to a Catholic saint named St. Valentine. The problem is there are actually three St. Valentine's -- one a priest, one a bishop, and little is known about the third. All were martyrs. In 469 A.D., Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14 a day to honor St. Valentine, one of these three men. One legend says that a Roman emperor banned soldiers from marrying in the third century, but St. Valentine took issue with this. He became an advocate for soldiers and was executed as a result of his outspokenness. Another legend says St. Valentine was executed for his beliefs in Christianity and just before he died, he left a farewell note for a loved one and signed it "From Your Valentine." A conventional and widely accepted belief about the holiday itself is that Valentine's Day grew out of a Middle Ages tradition of celebrating Feb. 14 as the day "the birds began to pair."