The Story Behind Valentine’s Day


By Joy Davis, Reporter

Many students know Valentine’s Day as a loving and forgiving holiday, but most don’t know the story behind it. The history of Valentine’s Day has many stories that can be told, but St. Valentine’s love story is one of the most touching.

It started with Emperor Claudius ll, a power hungry man who would send men out to wars all over the world, however it was only making his nation weaker. His general noticed that they were starting to lose wars and went to Claudius. The Emperor was very upset and wanted to find the root of the problem, so he decided to send troops out to recruit more soldiers. When the soldiers would ask citizens to join, they all refused and said the same thing: they all wanted to be with their wives and families. This made Emperor Claudius  exceedingly upset, so he decided to ban all marriages in hopes for a stronger and more immense army; however, this only upset the citizens and really upset St. Valentine ( 2009).

St. Valentine saw the law as unjust and had the courage to defy the king. He was a priest and would find couples in love to meet him at a secret spot and marry them, even though he was defying the king’s order, he did it anyway because he believed everyone deserves love. One day, he was caught. He was immediately sentenced to death and put in a jail cell with two guards watching him. 

One of the guards knew how wholehearted St. Valentine was, and asked if he could help his blind daughter. St. Valentine accepted and held lessons with her every day in his jail cell. One day, she asked him to heal her, and said that she would do anything for him to do it. St. Valentine asked her to pray with him, and when she awoke, she could see. The guard was enlightened and would repay him with any debt until Valentine’s week to be executed was coming up. St.

Valentine and the jail guard’s daughter had fallen in love throughout all of the lessons and he would send her love notes signed “from your Valentine”. 

It was February 14th, and it was the day he was to be executed- nothing could be done about it except to remember him. February 14th is known widely for the execution of St. Valentine and later celebrated as Valentine’s day. Many traditions have been passed on and celebrated by people all over the world (, 2009).

Traditions and emotional interpretations of Valentine’s Day  have turned it into a holiday to look forward to. Some Greenwood High School students said that Valentine’s day is about celebrating love, couples, and hearts. Emery Arnold, a Greenwood High school student laughingly said the colors red and pink symbolized, “blood and organs.” Meanwhile, when Ruby Gonzales, a student at Greenwood High school was interviewed, she said “hearts and love.” 

Traditions on Valentine’s Day range from chocolate candies to giving gifts. Ruby Gonzales, a Greenwood 10th grade student said, “Every Valentine’s Day, my mom gives me a book.” Emery Arnold mentioned “I buy myself flowers and chocolates.” These two answers differ from each other and show just how variously Valentine’s Day can be celebrated.

St. Valentine would be honored to see how we celebrate Valentine’s day every year with love. He would be more than proud to see all that he worked for and protested for is free will and widely celebrated by people all around the world Editors. “History of Valentine’s Day.”, A&E Television Networks, 22 Dec. 2009,