St. Valentine's Day has roots in several different legends.
One of the earliest popular symbols of the day is Cupid, the
Roman god of Love, who is represented by the image of a
young boy with a bow and arrow.
Three hundred years after the death of Jesus Christ, the
Roman emperors still demanded that everyone believe in the
Roman gods. Valentine, a Christian priest, had been thrown
in prison for his teachings. On February 14,Valentin8 was
beheaded. The night before he was executed, he wrote the
jailer's daughter a farewell letter signing it, "From Your
Another legend tells us that this same Valentine, wenloved
by all, wrote notes from his jail cell to children and
friends who missed him.
February 14 was also a Roman holiday, held in honour of
a goddess. Young men randomly chose the name of a young
girl to escort to the festivities.
St. Valentine's Day is now a day for sweethearts. It is the
day that you show your friend or loved one that you care.
You can send candy to someone you think is special. Or you
can send roses, the flower of love. Most people send 'Valentines",
a greeting card named after the notes that St. Valentine
wrote from jail. Valentines can be sentimental, romantic and
heartfelt. They can be funny and friendly. If the sender is
shy, valentines can be anonymous.
Americans of all ages love to send and receive valentines.
Handmade valentines are created by cutting hearts out of
coloured paper. Valentines can be heait-shaped, or have hearts,
the symbol of love, on them. In elementary schools, children
make valentines for their classmates and put them in a large
decorated box, similar to a mailbox. On February 14, the
teachers open the box and distribute the valentines to each
student. After the students read their valentines, they have a
small party with refreshments.
You can write a short rhyme inside the heart:
Roses are red.
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet,
And so are you!
Or you can buy valentines with messages in them. If you
are shy, you can sign it, "Your Secret Admirer".
1. What is one of the first popular symbols of St. Valentine's
2. What did the Roman emperors demand?
3. Why had Valentine been thrown in prison?
4. What does another legend tell us?
5. What do most people send on this day?