Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Here’s some historical background from Christianity.com:
Today we exchange cards expressing love or appreciation for one another. According to tradition, on this day, February 14, 269, a young man named Valentine was executed in Rome for his faith. But what does our exchange of sentimental cards have to do with a third century martyr?
Actually, the connection is not at all clear. Valentine was martyred the day before the pagan festival to the goddess Februata Juno at which boys drew girls' names for acts of sexual promiscuity. Were legends about the martyr's death modified to replace the heathen custom? No one knows for sure. In fact, there may have been two or even three martyrs named Valentine who died in different parts of the empire at about the same time. We know little or nothing about any of them.
You can read more here.