When we send funny or romantic cards to friends on Valentine's Day, we are really celebrating two very different things.  

The first is the life of Saint Valentine, a Roman Christian who was jailed and eventually executed for helping other Christians. This happened on February 14, in about the year A.D. 270. It is said that while in jail, Valentine fell in love with the jailer's blind daughter and miraculously cured her blindness. Before his execution, he is supposed to have sent her a farewell note (evidently, she had learned to read amazingly quickly) signed "From Your Valentine." 

Coincidentally, people believed at that time that birds began mating on February 14. (That must have been in a much warmer part of the world than most of the U.S. and Canada.) 

The idea of lovebirds soon became associated with Saint Valentine and the custom of sending cards or small gifts on his feast day is centuries old. As for the heart shape used on the cards, since ancient times, the heart has symbolized love, both human and divine. So get out your red paper, stickers, paste, and colored pencils. But if you look out the window on Valentine's Day, you probably won't see any birds billing and cooing, unless you live far south of the snow belt.

Did You Know.....?

Some people used to believe that if a woman saw a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it meant she would marry a sailor. If she saw a sparrow, she would marry a poor man and be very happy. If she saw a goldfinch, she would marry a millionaire


In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling


In Wales wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on February 14th. Hearts, keys and keyholes were favorite decorations on the spoons. The decoration meant, "You unlock my heart!"








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