Martyrs, rescuers and the defiant, oh my!

Happy belated Valentine’s day!  I know this is late getting out, but I thought I would share a bit of history about the most romantic day of the year!

Getting into the narrative of Valentine’s day, there are several stories about the man, Valentine.   To start, the greeting goes back to the middle ages. There are three different saints with the same name that the Catholic Church recognizes; all of whom were martyred.  One Valentine (or Valentinus) was a priest who defied the orders of Emperor Claudius II by performing marriage ceremonies when it was against the law for young men to be married (apparently, single men made better warriors).  Another story is that a different Valentine helped Christians escape prisons in Rome and the third Valentine (as legend has it) is the one who started it all (not the greeting card corporate entities for all you cynics out there!) when he supposedly wrote letter to a young girl who visited him while he was imprisoned that closed with the words, “From your Valentine”.

There are other stories of origin, such as the church replacing the pagan celebration of Lupercalia (you can read about it here: or to memorialize the anniversary of the death or internment of one of the Saints Valentine.  In the end, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 at St. Valentine’s day; where it was believed to be the start of the bird-mating season.

So, whether it was being a rebel, rescuing Christian prisoners, or sending a love letter, the origin of Valentine’s day is mysterious, dark and romantic; and on February 14, of every year…celebrated in the USA, Canada, Mexico, the UK, France, and Australia.

One place that doesn’t celebrate on this day, is in the Baltic state of Latvia.  The co-owner of a family business where I worked about a zillion years ago, is Latvian.  She told me that instead of Valentine’s day, they celebrated “Name’s day” which was your personal day based on (you guessed it) your given name!

For example, my Name’s day is November 25, which also happens to be my dad’s birthday!  How delightful it is to add this celebration to all the rest of the days!  If you want to find your name in Latvian, go here:  Then you can go to the names day calendar here and look up your name’s day!  Have fun with it!

Please feel free to comment and ask questions!  If you want to know where I gathered information about the history of Valentine’s day, please follow this link –  (same as above).

That’s all for now; I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.





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