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History of Valentine's Day for Kids: Who was St. Valentine?

Are you looking to explain St. Valentine and the history of Valentine’s Day for kids? Let me give you the scoop.  The exact origins of Valentine’s Day are not entirely clear, with the identity of the original St. Valentine in question. There are a few candidates for the St. Valentine we honor on Valentine’s Day, I’ll tell you about them and some facts on the history of Valentines Day after the jump…St. Valentine and a History of Valentine’s Day for Kids

Valentine’s Day (official name: Saint Valentine’s Day) is annually celebrated on February 14. It honors love and affection between friends, lovers, and couples.

The day is named after the Christian martyr Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD.

Pope Paul VI deleted the holiday from the Roman calendar of saints in 1969 but it is still celebrated by people both secular and religious.

Valentines Day is traditionally observed with gifts of flowers, candy and greeting cards knows as Valentines.

The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

Who was Saint Valentine? It’s not clear. In 1969 the Catholic church said: “Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14.” Some possible contenders are Valentine of Rome (a priest in Rome who was martyred about AD 269) and Valentine of Terni (bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) about AD 197 and is said to have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian.)

Today Valentines Day is observed as a way to honor the feelings of affection between friends, families, and lovers.  The image above is Valentines Day postcard circa 1910.

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