Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Who was Valentine?
The history of St. Valentine's Day
Saint Valentine risked the Emperor's wrath by standing up for traditional marriage, secretly marrying soldiers to their young brides.
Condemned to die for refusing to worship pagan idols, Valentine prayed for the blind daughter of his jailer, resulting in her healing, the conversion of the jailer and many others. Right before his execution, Saint Valentine wrote a note to the jailer's daughter, signing it, "from your Valentine." February 14th marks the date of Valentine's martyrdom.
Source: American Minute with Bill Federer
On This Day in History -- February 14
The Story of Valentine's Day from The History Channel. According to a variety of resources, the legends and stories about St. Valentine are based on the execution of three different men, named Valentine, who lived in the Third Century. Two of the Valentines made the mistake of drawing the attention of Emperor Claudius II, who had been persecuting the Christians throughout the Roman Empire. One of them is said to have been the Bishop of Terni, Italy. They stood up to the Roman authorities and held to their beliefs and in different locations, on different years of Claudius’ reign, were executed on February 14th, and buried by the side of the Via Flaminia, the road between Terni and Rome. Two centuries later, when Valentine was granted sainthood, Pope Gelasius chose February 14th as Valentines’ Day in an attempt to replace Lupercalia with a Christian celebration. The third Valentine is barely mentioned by the ancient stories as having been murdered by a mob somewhere in Africa. Click "more" for source citations.
Surprising Facts about St. Valentine
Image credit: history.com
Who was St. Valentine, and why do we celebrate him on February 14? In honor of Valentine’s Day, get the facts about this enigmatic character. (article by Elizabeth Hanes)
St. Valentine, The Real Story
The origin of St. Valentine's Day was certainly not a story of flowers, chocolates, and songs. Read as David Kithcart explains why Valentine's Day did not initially start as the romantic holiday it now has become.
How the Tradition Grew
British Library Manuscripts of "The Parliament of Fowls"
It is thought that the romantic traditions for St Valentine’s Day were sparked in 1392, by Geoffrey Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales: The Parliament of the Fowls. This is the first time St Valentine is mentioned in a literary work From the British Library manuscript collection: Public Domain.
Today in History from the Library of Congress
The first printed mention of Valentine was in the Nuremburg Chronicle, 1493. Image citation: Valentinus. In Liber Chronicarum, compiled by Hartmann Schedel. Germany: A. Koberger, July, 1493. World Digital Library.
Valentine : Noun
Cards and gifts were exchange beginning in the 1500’s and machine made cards came into popularity in the 1800’s. Etymology of “valentine” as “a letter or card sent to a sweetheart” began about 1824, is in common use today, and can be found in every dictionary.
God's Word on Love
"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if you have love one to another." (John 13:35)
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear." (1 John 4:18)
"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:44)
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)
The Four Loves by
Call Number: BV 4639 .L45 1991
Publication Date: 1971
Here, the incomparable C. S. Lewis examines human love in four forms: affection, the most basic, general, and emotive; friendship, the most rare, least jealous, and, in being freely chosen, perhaps the most profound; Eros, passionate love that can run counter to happiness and poses real danger; charity, the greatest, most spiritual, and least selfish. Proper love is a risk, but to bar oneself from it--to deny love--is a damning choice. Love is a need and a gift; love brings joy and laughter. We must seek to be awakened and so to find an Appreciative love through which "all things are possible."
Sacred & profane love : the poetry of John Donne by
Call Number: PR 2246 2010
Few people have explored this wrestling between the physical and spiritual better than John Donne, the seventeenth-century poet who poured into a few short words an intensity of feeling and depth of insight that have inspired readers for centuries.
Shakespeare and the Rose of Love by
Call Number: PR3069.L6V9
Publication Date: 2013-07-01
Offering an unusual and exceptionally clear insight into Shakespeare's philosophy and a viewpoint seldom considered, this book argues that his philosophy was consistent, consciously held, and profoundly Christian. Showing that Shakespeare appreciated the danger faced in writing at a time of major religious intolerance, it explains how the playwright used the medieval allegory of love to veil his ideas.
Sonnets from the Portuguese by
Call Number: PR4189 .A1 1998
Publication Date: 1998-02-21
"I love your verse with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett . . . and I love you too," Robert Browning wrote in January 1845. During their courtship, Elizabeth privately wrote a series of forty-four sonnets to Robert, which she disclosed to no one -- not even to him -- until three years after their marriage. The poems were later collected in a volume entitled Sonnets form the Portuguese. In this elegant new edition, the poems are accompanied by relevant excerpts from Elizabeth and Robert's love letters.
Embracing Valentine’s Day Disappointment by Anne Carlson Kennedy
“Why a holiday of unmet expectations leads me to the Resurrection.” An article by the mother of six children meditating on what we could learn from Valentine about God's love.
Who Prays to St. Valentine? by Alma R. Giordan
Who Prays to St. Valentine? by Alma R. Giordan. This light-hearted article mentions other parts of the legend. The birds and leaves that Hallmark puts on their cards come from the legend of the birds that carried messages, on leaves, to Valentine’s heartbroken followers. The author’s opinion is that Hallmark is among those who pray to St. Valentine, as well as, florists and candy makers, even John Donne.