The real story behind Valentine’s Day

The legend of St. Valentine inspired this popular holiday


Paige Otto

Giving flowers, candy or love notes are popular activities on Valentine’s Day.

Have you ever wondered where the whole concept of Valentine’s Day came from? Well, we did some investigating to find the answer, but first we asked a few BAMS students what they thought. Here are some of the responses we got:

Alex Taylor: Germany

Taylor Karns: Mexico

Brennin Abbott: Switzerland

Good guess, guys! But here’s the real answer:

Valentine’s Day actually came from Rome. Even though we associate this day with flowers and candy, it all started in a negative sort of way. History tells us that St. Valentine was a real person, one that defied the Roman Emperor’s orders. Claudius II wanted to get more men to join the army so he canceled all engagements and wouldn’t allow anyone to get married. He felt if the men didn’t have to worry about coming home to their wives and families, they would be more likely to fight in a war. But St. Valentine continued to marry people in secret. When he was caught, he was sentenced to death on February 14 in about 270 A.D. Legend says that before St. Valentine died, left a farewell note to his jailer’s daughter and signed it, “From your Valentine” which inspired the practice of sending valentines, or love notes to loved ones.

So, now you know the real story! Have a great Valentine’s Day! Don’t forget to send your special loved ones a holiday greeting!