valentines day background

11 02, 2019

Valentine cards – the legend and origin

By |2019-02-03T20:41:16-06:00February 11th, 2019|Holidays, Make Me Think Monday, Valentine's Day|0 Comments

As a writer of love stories, February 14th is one of my very favorite holidays. As a history buff, I love the legend and the origin of sending valentine cards. Valentines are the mirror of romance.


A real priest who lived in 270 A.D., Saint Valentine provided Christians with sacraments outlawed by the Roman Empire such as marriage for soldiers forbidden to marry and baptism.

Around 498 A.D., Pope Gelasius honored Valentinus by declaring February 14th as St. Valentine’s Day. The day now appears in the calendar of saints in the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church.

Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment, giving them to the soldiers and persecuted Christians to “remind them of God’s love and to encourage them to remain faithful Christians.”

That action, whether fable or real, began the custom of giving cards and reminders to loved ones on February 14.


In spite of technology and ecards retail Valentine card sales continue to grow. It’s estimated that about 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are purchased each year.

Artist Esther Howland (1828–1904) was the first to publish and sell Valentine cards in the United States. Before Esther, the cards were hand made with paper, lace, and ribbons and handwritten poetry. The American Antiquarian Society in Worcester holds a large collection of her valentines.

Most Valentines were mass-produced by machine by the end of the 19th century. Creative people like my friend still send handmade cards.

If you read my blog often, you know I collect vintage holiday post cards. Here are my favorite Valentines. While not as elaborate, I love the way these cards speak of romance.

Valentines express our love to others. Will you send valentines to show someone you love them this Valentine’s Day?

12 02, 2018

Valentine’s Day Random Facts

By |2019-02-03T17:40:44-06:00February 12th, 2018|Holidays, Make Me Think Monday, Valentine's Day|0 Comments

The origin of St. Valentine’s Day is found in the story of Saint Valentine, who, on the evening before his execution, wrote the first valentine, addressed to the daughter of his jailer, and signed the greeting “Your Valentine.”

That was in the 5th century. Since then Valentine’s Day has become a major commercial holiday.

The National Retail Federation anticipates over $18.2 billion will be spent on Valentine gifts this year. Of that amount, the Greeting Card Association expects $1 billion to go for greeting cards. Flowers will account for $2 billion and candy for $1.7 billion.

Cards, flowers, jewelry, and fine dinners are all very romantic gestures to express love for one’s sweetheart on this special day. But, gifts don’t have to involve great expense. Nothing’s better than a homemade Valentine card or a home cooked meal served by candlelight.

2018 will be a very unique Valentine’s Day because February 14 also happens to be the first day of Lent 2018, Ash Wednesday.

Interesting to note that Easter and April Fool’s Day will also fall on the same day this year. It’s the first time in 73 years.

Stop and think about it though, we shouldn’t be surprised.

We experienced a Blue Moon in January and unique things always happen once in a blue moon.



Go to Top