every february, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of st. valentine. but who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday
the history of valentines day -- and its patron saint -- is shrouded in mystery. but we do know that february has long been a month of romance. st. valentines day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both christian and ancient roman tradition.
so, who was saint valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite today, the catholic church recognizes at least three different saints named valentine or valentinus, all of whom were martyred. one legend contends that valentine was a priest who served during the third century in rome. when emperor claudius ii decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. valent...
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