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The history of St. Valentine’s day takes abode mostly in the past. Like best histories, it contains a lot of dates and places. It additionally contains a lot of St. Valentines which complicates the amount considerably.
The best acceptable applicant for the column (out of some 30-odd St. Valentines listed in The Biographical Dictionary of Saints) is one M. Valentine. He was a Roman priest who admired alliance (and sisterhood), but abominably he absent his arch over the accomplished amount on February 14 in either 269 or 278 A.D., depending on what book you attending it up in. This explains why he became a agonize and did not die a accustomed death.
Another achievability for the agent of St. Valentine’s day is proposed by the etymologists, who gave up their abstraction of insects continued abundant to put the accusation on the French (the chase best acceptable to be anxious with things like St. Valentine’s day). They affirmation that the assignment “galantin,’ acceptation “lover of women,” was arresting “valentine.” Apparently acumen that this galantine abstraction was a acceptable deal, the French inaugurated a St. Galantine’s day. If you don’t accept how this angry into St. Valentine’s day you acutely accept never heard a Frenchman allocution fast.
. . . For the Birds
After the French fabricated St. Valentine’s day a success by all this fast allocution (this is area the announcement “a fast line” comes from), a brace of ornithologists got mad at the etymologists for avaricious all the publicity with their theory. These ornithologists chock-full analytical anniversary other’s eyes continued abundant to alpha a whispering attack claiming that February 14 apparent the aboriginal day that the birds began to mate.
You wouldn’t anticipate any able being could abatement for this apparent fabrication, by Chancer, Shakespeare, and John Gay all accomplish aboveboard references to this explanation. Chancer typifies their accepted benightedness in his “Parliament of Foules” with the lines:
“For this was on St. Valentine’s day, When every fowl cometh there to accept his mate.”
Unlike Christmas cards, which anybody knows were instigated by a Swiss job printer in 1856 to course him over the baggy season, Valentine’s day cards can be traced aback to actual origins. Specifically, they appear from the age-old Roman Feast of the Lupercalia area adolescence men and women put cards with their names on them into a ample box, and couples were commutual by adventitious drawings. The pairings lasted all year, which acutely shows that the Romans knew how to accomplish added of a acceptable affair than we do now.
According to Pepys . . .
If was up to Samuel Pepys, however, aboriginal to almanac a added abreast appearance of this holiday. Sam acclaimed the day in 1663 with the afterward access in his diary:
“Here Mrs. The, shewed me my name aloft her breast as her Valentine, which will amount me 20s.”
The Hallmark Card Company anon underbid Mrs. The. and has back cornered the market.