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The Origin of Valentine's Day - Feast Italy

The Origin of Valentine's Day

The story of Valentine’s Day has ancient roots and goes back to the III century. Christianity was at the beginning of its long journey, the pagan rituals still at large in the Roman Empire. 

There is no certainty regarding the martyr of Valentinus, but the story we’d like to share is of a man born in the town of Interamna Nahars, the modern Terni in Umbria, a christian of course and for this, a persecuted one. 

On February the 14th, while Valentinus was walking in a garden, he overheard a couple fight. He approached them with a rose, imploring them to make peace and to be united in the name of God. The two, a christian girl and a pagan soldier, then asked the bishop to marry them.

The story spread and many other couples travelled to Terni on the 14th of each month to get his blessing. When the news arrived to the Roman Empire in AD 269, Valentinus was imprisoned, tortured and martyred.. on the 14th of February. 

Valentinus was canonised and made saint by Pope Gelasius in AD 496 but it is only in the 14th century, when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the Parliament of Fowls, in which he associated Cupid to Saint Valentine in honour of the engagement of Richard II of England and Anna of Bohemia. Just like that, the connection between the Saint and curtly love was made.

In more modern times, around the mid '800, Eather Howland began mass printing cards to celebrate Valentine's Day, and perhaps became the initiator of a tradition we still carry through today.

While we have all the reasons to encourage you to celebrate with some delicious chocolate, we actually much prefer to remind ourselves, what this day was really all about: sacrifice, dedication, and above all, love. And to us, this is much more important than some, albeit delicious, pralines.

Next article Filippo Cea. A very special almond from Toritto, Apulia