By Amanda L. Colborn
Whether you’re single or coupled up, betrothed or still dating — Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year and not just a “Hallmark holiday” as many people say and assume.
In actuality, Hallmark didn’t even produce its first Valentine’s Day card until the year 1913 – centuries after the declaration of the holiday in 1537.
The origins of Valentine’s Day are shrouded in mystery. The Catholic church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine. One legend tells of Valentine as a priest who served during third century Rome. Valentine defied Emperor Claudius II by marrying young lovers in secret after the Emperor outlawed marriage saying it was a distraction to men going into war.
Other stories tell of a St. Valentine who may have been killed for trying to help Christians escape the perils of Roman imprisonment. A more famous legend eludes to St. Valentine as being the original sender of Valentine’s Day greetings when he fell in love with a young woman who upon his deathbed, wrote her a letter and signed it “From your Valentine,” an expression still very much used today!
Though there are several different stories about the origins of this holiday, they all lead back to celebrating the loving hero that was St. Valentine.
Whichever history you choose to believe, make sure you spread the love to your partner or just treat yourself to something special!
And if you really want to show your significant other how much you love them, you can join the other several million people around the world who will be announcing their engagement on this most romantic of days! If you plan on popping the question, make sure you check out the American Gem Society’s Perfect Proposal Toolkit for everything from how to choose a ring to how to set up the perfect proposal. And share with us! Tell us your story on social media, be sure to use #AGSProposal!
Have a safe and happy holiday!