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Valentine’s day is more than just giving flowers, jewelry and candy to someone.

The holiday is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. It has a meaning that is truly centered in self sacrifice.

The popular customs associated with Saint Valentine’s Day undoubtedly have their origin in a conventional belief generally received in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February,  the birds began to pair. The sending of Valentines was a fashion in nineteenth-century Great Britain, and, in 1847, Esther Howland developed a successful business in her Worcester, Massachusetts home with hand-made Valentine cards based on British note cards.

This is the reason the day was looked upon as specially consecrated to lovers and as a proper occasion for writing love letters and sending lovers’ tokens. Both the French and English literatures of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries show this being done.