The history behind Valentine's Day is nothing short of brutal.

You know what’s brutal?

Being newly single and only getting one Valentine’s Day message via Facebook from some dude in the UK saying ‘send nudes’.

You know what’s really brutal? Getting beaten, stoned and beheaded, just for being a romantic.

I know what you’re thinking: That’s what MY breakup felt like too! But this grisly fate was actually suffered by the original Saint Valentine.

Saint Valentine of Terni lived in the 3th century BC, and was officially declared a saint in the latter part of the 5th century.

The feast of St. Valentine - celebrated on the 14th of February - was first celebrated in 496 by Pope Gelasius I.

Nothing was then known about St. Valentine, with Pope Gelasius noting that he was among other saints "... whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God."

If only he had known...

Listen: The first episode of Mamamia's new love advice podcast Love Life dropped today. (Post continues after audio.)

See, Saint Valentine was a bit of a romantic, and according to Roman mythology he was a priest who used to marry Christian couples - which, of course, was outlawed at a time where Roman mythology and ideology was the primary religion.


When Saint Valentine refused to give up his faith, he was taken to the Flaminian Gate in Rome on February 14, 269 where he was tortured and eventually martyred.



So how the heck did poor old Saint Valentine become the international symbol of love?

There are many different interpretations floating around. According to History channel online, one version is that Saint Valentine sent the first ever Valentine's Day card after falling love.

"According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement," they write.

Love. Ain't it grand?

"Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed 'From your Valentine',” an expression that is still in use today."

So before sitting down to a wheel of cheese and gallon of cheap shiraz tonight, think of your old buddy Saint Valentine, folks.

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