Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Origin of St. Valentine's Day (Beginner Level)

1) Valentine was a Christian priest who lived in Rome 1,740 years ago.

2) The Emperor of Rome at that time didn’t like Christians. Also, he was fighting many wars in other countries. He said that young couples couldn’t get married. He said the young men had to join his army instead.
Claudius II - The Emperor of Rome in Valentine's time
3) Valentine secretly married young couples, making them Christians.
Valentine marrying a young couple
4) When the Emperor found out, he got very angry. He put Valentine in prison.
5) He had Valentine killed on February 14th.
6) About 200 years later, Rome became Christian. They made February 14th a special holiday to remember that Valentine died helping young people who were in love.
7) There is a story – probably not true – about Valentine helping one of the guards in the prison. The guard was in love with a beautiful young girl but he was too shy to tell her. Valentine helped the guard write a love letter to the girl. When the girl read the letter, she fell in love with the guard.
8) In Japan, women give chocolates to the men they love on Saint Valentine’s Day. In other countries, men traditionally gave romantic gifts – flowers, perfume, chocolates, and so on – to their special girlfriend. They would also make beautiful cards to give to their special girlfriend on Saint Valentines Day. If a man didn’t have a girlfriend, he would give a card to a girl he liked, hoping she would become his new girlfriend.
9) These days, couples – including husbands and wives – exchange romantic gifts with each other.

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