People who celebrate this sweet holiday give their loved ones flowers, sweets, toys, balloons and special cards (usually in the shape of a heart), with poems, love confessions or wishes of love – valentines. In this article, you will learn more about the history of Valentine’s Day, as well as how it is celebrated in different countries. We will delve into the legends and folklore of different nations in order to understand where the roots of this event grow from and why lovers all over the world are waiting for February 14 so much. Read, share your impressions and confess your feelings to each other.
There are many legends associated with the name of St. Valentine – the “hero of the occasion” of the upcoming holiday.
The appearance of this holiday is associated with the deeds of the Christian priest Valentine, who lived during the reign of the Roman emperor Julius Claudius II. In those years, the Roman army was constantly at war and needed brave and desperate soldiers. The emperor rightly judged that a married soldier was unlikely to be like that, so he forbade the legionnaires to marry. Bishop of the city of Terni Valentin thought differently and, contrary to the imperial ban, secretly married soldiers in love. After some time, Valentine was captured and sentenced to death. Ironically, while in prison, the priest Valentine fell in love with the daughter of either his executioner or the warden – there are different versions of this. But, unfortunately, Valentine’s love did not save him, and he was nevertheless executed on February 14 in approximately 270 AD. Before his death, Valentine wrote a love letter to his beloved, which he ended with the words “From Your Valentine.” As the legend testifies, this letter marked the beginning of the tradition of writing letters to your loved ones with declarations of love – valentines, and the expression From your Valentine became figurative and is still used in foreign postcards.
Subsequently, as a Christian martyr who suffered for his faith, Valentine was canonized by the Catholic Church. And in 496, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th St. Valentine’s Day. Since then, lovers have revered St. Valentine and consider him their intercessor. The relics of St. Valentine, preserved to this day, are kept in the Scottish city of Glasgow in the Roman Catholic Church of the blessed John Dunes in a specially designated niche. On February 14, thousands of people of all ages come here and ask St. Valentine for love. On January 15, 2003, the mayor’s office and the bishop of the city of Terni handed over the shrine – a particle of the relics of St. Valentine – to Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Rus’, as a “gift of brotherly love.”
The patron of lovers found his last refuge in Ukraine, in the city of Sambir, Lviv region. Here, in the ancient Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in a special sarcophagus on a separate side altar, particles of the relics of St. Valentine lie.
On February 14, a real pilgrimage begins in Sambir, and lovers rush here from all over Ukraine, as well as from Europe, Russia and Belarus. On this day, the city celebrates the International Festival of St. Valentine with the participation of tens of thousands of guests. On the occasion of this day, the remains of St. Valentine are transferred to the central tetrapod in the church. Thousands of couples in love or single people rush to the saint on this day to ask him for protection in love affairs. “First, St. Valentine was buried in the Priscilli cemetery near Rome,” Orest Ferenc, director of the Sambor Development Institute, tells the story of how Valentine got to the Ukrainian city. – The remains of St. Valentine were solemnly transferred to Sambir on May 13, 1759. These relics are the only ones on the territory of Ukraine.” Since then, St. Valentine has been the patron saint of the Peremishl-Sambir diocese. Church documents signed by the Pope testify to the authenticity of St. Valentine’s relics. But people do not need this evidence, because the fact that St. Valentine really listens to their requests is evidenced by many happy stories, as well as many thanksgiving gifts that the pilgrims left in the church.
Every year, tens of thousands of people come to the city to get inspiration for beautiful love and marriage. And many of them receive answers to their requests. In addition to the fact that St. Valentine unites hearts, there is evidence that he heals. There is evidence that a prayer to St. Valentine helped those with epilepsy to be healed. Although this disease is considered incurable. Recently, a number of international studies have been carried out in Sambir, in particular, DNA analysis of the relics of St. Valentine, during which their authenticity was proved. At the same time, the commercial raid inherent in everything related to February 14 and the name of St. Valentine does not prevent us from understanding the main essence of the actions of the Christian righteous man, who helped and still helps people.
The note written by Valentine on the day of his execution began the tradition of exchanging love messages on Valentine’s Day. And now such notes are called “valentines”, which subsequently began to mean a declaration of love and fidelity. The execution is over. The remains of Valentine were buried in the church of St. Praxidis in Rome, after which the gate in this church became known as the “gate of Valentine”. According to the legend, in spring, a pink almond tree blooms near his grave, which is considered a symbol of true love.