Month: February 2011

Valentine’s Day – February 14th

Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions.  The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasiu;s I in 500 AD.  It was deleted from the Roman calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI, but its religious observance is still permitted.  It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending greeting cards (know 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. 

Modern Valentine’s Day symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves and the figure of the winged Cupid.  since the early 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.