Valentine’s Day is a holiday where you are able to celebrate in the love you have for another person in your life. Chances are this person is your significant other, spouse, partner, lover, friend, parent, child, brother, sister, etc. A “Valentine” can be anyone that you care about and has been able to touch your life in some manner.
The spelling of Valentine’s Day can sometimes be confusing. In some cultures we see it is spelled as “St. Valentine’s Day” and others just spell it as “Valentines Day”. The official way to spell it is with the apostrophe so it will be “Valentine’s Day”. What is the significance behind the apostrophe? What the apostrophe does is make the day belonging to a person or to your Valentine. This type of interpretation can make it “Jane’s day” or “John’s day” as the goal is to recognize the person that means a lot to you and to show them how much you care and love them. However individuals that do not put the apostrophe in the word often do so because they feel it is a day for everyone to celebrate their Valentines and it’s not just a single person that they are celebrating.
One of the nice things with Valentine’s Day is that you will always celebrate it on the same date, February 14. This makes it easy to remember and it also is a consistent date and not a “guessing” date like some holidays can be as they fluctuate.
Saint Valentine’s Day is the official name it is given this name after one of the Christian martyrs. This is a day when you offer flowers, love notes, chocolates, or affection to the people that you love. Each person that you give an offering to like a flower or a card will be considered your Valentine. Valentine isn’t one specific person as there were several Christian martyrs there were named Valentine and they were all honored on the 14th day of February in Rome. As people began to honor the Valentine’s, it began to change the significance from honoring the martyrs to honoring the people you love.
There are 3 main Saints that are considered the Valentine’s and the Catholic church does not have documentation on other martyrs that may also be considered Valentine’s. Initially romance was not associated with Valentine’s day at all until the 14th century where a particular “Saint Valentine” was linked to the holiday and the other martyrs were not linked to it. The Saint Valentine that the catholic church officially linked to the holiday is Saint Valentine that was buried at Via Flamina.
Since little is known about Saint Valentine that is linked to the holiday, it makes it challenging to truly understand the romantic elements and the symbolism of the way in which the holiday is spelled. One account of Saint Valentine from the Early Medieval acta shows that Saint Valentine was a persecuted Christian and the Roman Emperor Claudius II interrogated him and forced him to become Roman pagan to spare his life. Because Valentine was Christian he refused to convert and he was executed but before he was killed he performed a final act of selflessness by healing a blind girl.
That is one account, where another one is focused more on romance and love. This version of Saint Valentine shows that when Valentine was ordered by Claudius II to be jailed for not converting, he fell in love with a young girl and wrote her a love note before he died. This was considered the first valentine and this is where giving love notes to your beloved came from.