Valentine’s DaySt. Valentine’s Day began in 496 when Pope Gelasius I introduced a celebration of Saint Valentinus on the 14th of February - the day of Saint Valentine’s death. Valentinus became a saint because he had been imprisoned for giving weddings to soldiers, who were not allowed to marry at the time. That is why today Saint Valentine is the patron of love.

At first, the 14th of February was only the day when the memory of the saint was celebrated. It became connected with love and relationships in the Middle Ages. The traditions of giving flowers, offering confectionery and exchanging cards evolved in 18th century England.
Today, Valentine’s Day is global and commercialised, with many countries adopting the same forms of celebrating, especially focused on buying things to express affection. Some people don’t mind the commercial aspect, while others lament the loss of true love among the hearts and the cupids.

Quiz
1. When did Valentinus die?
a) On the 14th of February.
b) In 496.
c) In the 18th century.

2. In 18th century England
a) the celebration became focused on love and relationships.
b) only the memory of Saint Valentine was celebrated.
c) today’s Valentine’s Day traditions were formed.

3. Today, in most countries around the world
a) Valentine’s Day is celebrated in a similar way.
b) most people dislike the commercialisation of the
celebration.
c) true love is lost among the Valentine’s Day hearts and cupids.

Answers: 1a, 2c, 3a


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