History of Valentine’s Day

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The History of Valentine’s Day cards discussed in this special edition holiday blog from Invitations4Less.com.

History of Valentine’s Day

Each year on February 14, loved ones exchange cards, candy, flowers and gifts, all in the name of a mystic saint, St. Valentine. Who was this saint, and how did these traditions start? Explore the history of the most romantic day of the year!

Within the Catholic Church, at least three different martyred saints bore the name Valentine or Valentinus. One particular Saint Valentine said to have performed surreptitious Christian weddings for soldiers banned by Roman Emperor Claudius II from partaking in the sacrament of marriage. The legend also states that Saint Valentine cut hearts from parchment and gave the hearts to soldiers and other oppressed Christians. This may explain the widespread use of the heart motif on Valentine’s Day.

Roman Emperor Claudius II insisted that Saint Valentine convert to Roman Paganism, and he refused, he was sentenced to death. While imprisoned, Valentine fell in love with a young girl who visited him. On the eve of his death, it’s said that he wrote a letter to the girl and signed “From your Valentine,” an expression widely used today.

Valentines Day Cards

Valentines Day Cards

The paper Valentine first appeared sometime after 1400 A.D. A poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, the oldest known Valentine in existence. He expressed his love for his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London.

During the 17th century, Valentine’s Day began regularly celebrated in Great Britain. By the middle of the 18th century, it was common for friends and lovers in much of the world to exchange tokens or sentiments of love.

Modern Day Valentine’s Day

The Greeting Card Association estimates that 1 billion Valentines go out each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest mailing holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for the Christmas holiday.) It’s interesting to note that approximately 85 percent of all Valentines purchased by women.

Invitations4Less.com has a wonderful selection of Valentine’s Day cards. Include your photo for an even more personal touch! And when you consider how much individual cards cost at your local card store, our prices can’t be beat!