Valentine was romantic hero | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Valentine was romantic hero

Lisa Marsh

Valentine’s Day is a result of the Roman Empire. When Emperor Claudius II ruled, Rome was involved in a series of bloody and unpopular military campaigns. “Claudius the Cruel,” as he was affectionately known, was having a hard time getting young men to sign up for the military. He believed the reason was that they did not want to leave their loves or families behind.

As a result, he canceled all marriages and engagements.

Enter Valentine, a Christian priest who became a defender of love. He began to secretly marry couples despite the Emperor’s orders. When the Emperor found out, he had Valentine thrown in prison, where he remained until his death on February 14 of the year 270 A.D.

A few hundred years later, the holiday evolved as we know it. As Christianity began to take hold in Europe, the church sought to do away with pagan holidays. Valentine’s Day came to replace a mid-February fertility festival named Lupercalia by the Romans, Imbolc by the Celts.

In honor of his sacrifice for love, Valentine was made a saint and the day was named in his memory.

Today, valentines aren’t reserved for lovers. It is a day to recognize all those who give us love throughout the year. Parents can give extra affection to their children. Special gifts can be given to friends. Kids can give notes to each other. Love in our lives can be celebrated and those who give it can be loved in return.

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