February is known as the “love month”, but who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this tradition?

One legend says that Valentine was a Roman priest in the third century. Emperor Claudius II didn’t allow young men to marry, believing that they were better soldiers than those with wives and children. Valentine ignored the rule and continued to marry young couples in secret. After learning of Valentine’s crime, the Emperor ordered his punishment. In another version, an imprisoned Valentine fell in love with a young girl who visited him when he was in jail—possibly his prison guard’s daughter—and wrote the first “valentine” greeting. It was believed he had written the words “From your Valentine” on the note before he died, a phrase that is still used today.

Valentine has more than one legend, but they all emphasize him as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, loving person. Valentine’s Day began as a special day for couples, but it has evolved into an event for families and friends.