Every February 14, flowers, chocolates and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from?
Valentine’s Day is named in honour of Saint Valentine, the patron saint of lovers who was murdered on Feb. 14 AD 270. During that time, the Roman emperor Claudius II cancelled all marriages in Rome, as he was finding it difficult to get men to join the military and believed married men, being emotionally attached to their wives and families, did not make good soldiers.
Valentine secretly married couples until he was caught and sentenced to death. One legend suggests he left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter before his death that said, “Love from your Valentine,” the first Valentine’s card. It was the pope who set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine in AD 496. However, the day was not often celebrated until the Middle Ages. Gift giving and exchanging of hand-made cards became common in England around the 18th century, while in the 1840’s the holiday caught on in the United States.
Valentine’s Day is generally a day about love, cards, chocolates and flowers however; the day is celebrated differently around the world. For example, in Spain books are given, while in Finland the day marks the honouring of friendship and in South Korea and Japan women give chocolates to men.
Some interesting facts about Valentine’s Day:
At Fournos bakery we believe that nothing says, "I love you," quite like a sweet treat. Pop into one of our stores and choose from a wide variety of delicious delights a sure why to seduce ant heart!