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The Origins of Valentine's Day

Mr. William Federer spoke to our school community this week about the third century martyr, St. Valentine, and the history of Valentine’s Day. Mr. Federer is a nationally known speaker, best-selling author, and president of Amerisearch, Inc., a publishing company dedicated to researching America's noble heritage. A former U.S. Congressional Candidate, Bill's "American Minute" radio feature is broadcast daily across the nation.
Mr. Federer explained what it was like to be a Christian in the early centuries of the Church in the Roman Empire, when Christians gathered secretly in catacombs and were arrested and martyred daily. At a time when the emperor forbade soldiers from getting married – believing that they would fight better without any kind of family attachments – a priest named Valentine married them in secret. Eventually, Valentine was arrested and killed by the Roman prefect on February 14, making this his feast day in the Church. Although little more is known about his life, accounts of Valentine’s martyrdom were passed down through the centuries. Before his martyrdom, Valentine is said to have sent a letter to a friend, signing it “from your Valentine”
 
Geoffrey Chaucer, a 14th century poet, further linked St. Valentine’s Day with couples in love in the poem “A Parliament of Fowls.” He said that February 14 is the day that birds chose their mates. Signing Valentine’s Day cards with “XO” may have Christian roots as well, as the Greek letter “Chi” – written as an “X” – is often associated with Christ.
 
At the end of Mr. Federer’s lesson, the students were excited to share the news things they learned about St. Valentine, Valentine’s Day, and how it relates to what they’re already learning in their classes!
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