When Claudius discovered Valentine’s acts of defiance, he had him killed immediately. Valentine was later canonized by the Vatican and, in the 5th century, February 14th was named his feast day, the day designated by the church to honor and commemorate a saint’s life.
Still, other people believe that February 14th’s designation as a day of love, comes out of something far less bloody than a martyred saint. In France and England, February 14th is the beginning of the birds’ mating season, which symbolizes love, fertility, and the promise of spring.
Valentine’s Day is celebrated in several countries throughout the world, including Mexico, France, England, Australia, and of course The United States. The day began to rise in popularity around 17th century, where it was not uncommon for friends to exchange little gifts and notes of affection. The first Valentine’s Day card was believed to be sold in 1840 by Esther Howland, also known as The Mother of the Valentine, and today it is estimated that over 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year. It is something worth celebrating: love.