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The story of Valentine's Day: Not all love and mush!

The story of Valentine's Day:

Not all love and mush!

February 14 is Valentine’s Day, the day you can give a flower or some cookies to your friends or family to show them they are special. 

Or you can make a heart-shaped card to say “thank you” to your mum and dad or your teacher for making you feel special.

Saint Valentine's Day

You might think that Valentine’s Day is only about hearts and flowers but it actually has a sad history.


So how did Valentine's Day come about?

Claudius II coin That's a picture of Claudius II on a coin.

Valentine’s Day was originally created to remember a brave priest called Valentinus who lived in Rome almost 2,000 years ago during the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius II. Claudius made it illegal to be a Christian, so people who followed the Christian faith were tortured or killed.

As a Christian priest, Valentinus continued to help Christian people and he would perform marriage ceremonies, although this was against the law.

In the year 269 AD, Valentinus was caught and sent to prison where he was sentenced to death.


Even though he saw Valentinus as an enemy, Claudius was impressed with how Valentinus behaved at the trial, so he came to visit him in prison. Somehow the emperor and his prisoner became friends, and for a while it looked as though Valentinus would be set free.

Did Claudius set Valentine free in the end?

Watch an animated video and Read more below:

So what happened after Claudius and Valentine became friends?

Reliquary of St. Valentine

Valentinus saw his friendship with Claudius as an opportunity to convince the emperor to become a Christian.

Claudius was furious when he realized what Valentinus was doing, so he ordered guards to kill Valentinus. But the guards could not kill Valentinus so they sent him back to prison while they decided what to do next.

The prison guard looking after Valentinus had a blind daughter and Valentinus performed a miracle by restoring the young girl’s sight.

Soon after this, he was taken from the prison and beheaded.

thats terrible

Even after he died, people were talking about how he had helped the blind girl to see again, and he was named Saint Valentine.

Now he is the patron saint of married couples and lovers, beekeepers, epileptics and travellers.

Saint Valentine by Bassano Saint Valentine baptizing another saint, St Lucilla.

As patron saint, he is meant to protect all these people, so if you are a beekeeper or about to travel somewhere, you can ask Saint Valentine to look after you. Or you can ask him to keep a special eye on your parents.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Well, at least that was one version of the story. There is another slightly different version that involves Saint Valentine, but a different story. Here's a video on the history of Valentine's day (link pointed out by Whiz NoldRussel in comments below)  

Feb 14 chocolate picture credit: emilywjones;

Other picture credits (Valentine's Day 1861, Claudius coin, Valentine's bust, Valentine baptizing St Lucilla): Wikimedia Commons

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