FEBRUARY 14, 2013
The day is named after an early Christian martyr, Valentine of Rome, a priest who was martyred in 269 AD and was buried on February 14. Saint Valentine’s Day was established in 500 AD by Pope Gelasius I.
In Ancient Rome a holiday connected to fertility was observed February 13 through 15. The first recorded association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love is in “Parlement of Foules” (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer. Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated in the 17th century with lovers exchanging tokens of affection. In 1797, a British publisher issued The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which contained scores of suggested sentimental verses for the young lover unable to compose his own.