Valentines Day History
There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine". Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine.
Gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. The date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers. There was often a social gathering or a ball.
In the United States, Miss Esther Howland is given credit for sending the first valentine cards. Commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800's and now the date is very commercialised. The town of Loveland, Colorado, does a large post office business around February 14. The spirit of good continues as valentines are sent out with sentimental verses and children exchange valentine cards at school.
Varying: adjective giving variety to
Expert: noun skilled, knowledgeable
Give up: abandon
Martyred: verb make into a martyr; execute on religious grounds; torture; persecute
Devoted to: loving towards, loyal to, faithful to; dedicated to
Legend: n. story that has been handed down over generations and cannot be proved to be true or fictitious, tale, myth, fable; collection of myths or fables; explanatory table for a map (or chart, etc.); inscription (on a coin, monument, etc.)
Farewell: ■ exclamation chiefly literary goodbye.
■ Noun an act of parting or of marking someone's departure.
Jailer: noun PRISON OFFICER, jail keeper, one who is in charge of a jail or a section of a jail; one who imprisons another (also jailor), warder, wardress, warden, guard, captor; informal screw; archaic turnkey.
Priest: ■ noun
an ordained minister of the Catholic, Orthodox, or Anglican Church, authorized to perform certain rites and administer certain sacraments. ▶a person who performs ceremonies in a non-Christian religion.
a mallet used to kill fish caught when angling.
■ Verb formal ordain to the priesthood.
Large Jewish building for the worship of God
▶ Noun HOUSE OF GOD, shrine, sanctuary; church, cathedral, mosque, synagogue, shul; archaic fane.
Claudius: n. Claudius I (10 BC-AD 54), Roman emperor; Claudius II (AD 214-270), Roman emperor
Defying him: disobeyed him, openly challenged him
■ Verb (defies, defying, defied)
openly resist or refuse to obey.
Challenge to do or prove something: he glowered at her, defying her to mock him. ▶be of such a kind or nature that (a specified action or attitude) is almost impossible: the effrontery of the man defied belief. ▶archaic challenge to combat.
Set aside: ■ noun
the policy of taking land out of production to reduce crop surpluses. ▶land taken out of production in this way.
US a government contract awarded without competition to a minority-owned business.
US a portion of funds reserved for a purpose.
Honour: (US honor) noun (British) respect, dignity
great respect or esteem. ▶a feeling of pride and pleasure from being shown respect. ▶a source of esteem.
a clear sense of what is morally right.
a thing conferred as a distinction. ▶ (honours) a special distinction for proficiency in an examination. ▶ (honours) a course of degree studies more specialized than for an ordinary pass.
(His, Your, etc. Honour) a title of respect for a circuit judge, a US mayor, and (in Irish or rustic speech) any person of rank.
Golf the right of driving off first, having won the previous hole.
Dated a woman's chastity.
Bridge an ace, king, queen, jack, or ten. ▶ (honours) possession of at least four of these cards in the trump suit, or of all four aces in no trumps, for which a bonus is scored.
regard with great respect. ▶pay public respect to.
Bring esteem to (a place or event) with one's presence.
fulfil (an obligation) or keep (an agreement). ▶accept (a bill) or pay (a cheque) when due.
Do the honours informal perform a social duty for others, especially serve food or drink.
Honour bright Brit. dated on my honour.
honours are even Brit. there is equality in the contest.
In honour of as an expression of respect for.
On one's honour under a moral obligation.
On (or upon) my honour used to express sincerity.
▶ adverb SLOWLY, slowly but surely, cautiously, gently, gingerly; piecemeal, little by little, bit by bit, inch by inch, by degrees; progressively, systematically; regularly, steadily.
Patron saint: noun
a patron of the arts: SPONSOR, backer, financier, benefactor, benefactress, contributor, subscriber, donor; philanthropist, promoter, friend, supporter; informal angel.
Club patrons: CUSTOMER, client, frequenter, consumer, user, visitor, guest; informal regular
Get-together, social event
■ verb manage or exploit in a way designed to make a profit.
adj. appealing to the emotions; nostalgic, tender, romantic; overly emotional, corny