Have you ever wondered who ‘Saint Valentine’ was? Even though the feast of St. Valentine was first established in 496 A.D. by Pope Gelasius, no one actually knows who St. Valentine is or why we celebrate him. Indeed, when the Pope created this feast he wrote of St. Valentine that he was one “... whose name[ is] justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God."
Although no one knows for sure who this saint actually was, there are of course some myths about who he might have been. One of the most popular and well known myths about St. Valentine is that he was a Roman priest during the reign of Claudius II (213-270).
The story goes that Claudius was not a nice guy. He was fighting multiple wars against multiple enemies and he believed that love made a man a poor fighter. As a result, he outlawed marriage throughout the Roman nation. According to the story, however, Saint Valentine was secretly marrying Roman couples underneath the nose of the Roman emperor. When Claudius discovered that Valentine was secretly performing marriage ceremonies, he had him arrested and sentenced to death.
Here is where the story gets interesting. While Valentine was in jail, he fell in love with his jailer’s daughter. On the eve of his execution, he wrote the young girl a love note signed ‘from your Valentine’ and thus the first ‘Valentine’ was written. He was beheaded the next day (Claudius was a real jerk) but his name would forever be remembered on a now famous holiday!
This story is just another reason why we love celebrating Valentine’s Day. There is no better way to send someone a love note than with a custom chocolate bar that says ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ or ‘I Love You’. Check out our special Valentine’s Day tab, or if you’re stuck on what to give, check out our favorites section!