In the early times known as the 4th century the Romans soldiers of pagan then celebrated the ritual to the god Lupercus. Lupercus was a deity to where the Roman soldiers made a festival of where they would place the names of young women in a box and draw out a name each. The woman would then become the Roman soldier lover for that year. This ritual took place each year on February 15th.
"Definition: Lupercalia was an annual Roman festival celebrated on February 15. Because Lupercalia has some connection with fertility it is like an early version of a Valentine's Day holiday. Lupercalia was named for the naked male priests called Luperci. Lupercalia involved not only fertility, but also purification rituals, and was celebrated to honor a god the Romans themselves were unsure of, but who was called "Lupercus" by the Augustan era. The pastoral god Faunus was also worshiped. The Luperci sacrificed a goat and possibly a dog, and offered sacred cakes. The Luperci donned goat skins or goat skin loincloths and ran through the streets of Rome striking people or just women with strips of goat to make them fertile. Pope Gelasius I (d. 496) (or Felix III - late 5th century) is thought by some to have turned the February 15 Lupercalia purification festival into the festival of the Purification of the Virgin Mary". "Sources: Ovid's Fasti, Adkins & Adkins' Dictionary or Roman Religion".
This ritual was really encouraged by Emperor Claudius 2nd, or Claudius Gothicus who believed that married soldiers made poor soldiers. He banned the soldiers from marrying so the ritual of the god Lupercus was each year a festival well known and looked forwarded to by the soldiers.
A man called "Valentine" in that time period was Bishop of Interamna and would secretly join the lovers and their soldiers in Holy Matrimony. Emperor Claudius 2nd, found out about Valentine named by many as "Friend of Lovers" and had the bishop brought to him. Emperor Claudius 2nd, been impressed with this religious man tried to convert him to pagan beliefs to save having to execute him. Claudius had banned his soldiers from marrying and here was Valentine secretly marrying his soldiers to their lovers.
Valentine refused to convert to pagan belief and in return tried to convert Emperor Claudius 2nd, to Christianity. Valentine was sentenced to death by Emperor Claudius 2nd. While in prison history writes that, Valentine fell in love with the jailers daughter "Asterius" whom was blind. With his faith been strong he restored her eyesight so she could see again. Before his execution he left her a farewell message and in ending signed "From Your Valentine". On February 27th, 270, Valentine was clubbed, stoned and then beheaded.
Christianization of Lupercalia:
The Church in A.D. 496, started replacing of names of young women as the pagan ritual way to the Christian way that allowed both men and women to play the lottery. They did this by putting names of Saints in the box so each of the genders could pull a name out of the lottery box.
With the Church in Rome A.D. 496 lead by Pope Gelasuius 1st, reinventing February 15th and its lottery of young women by replacing the names of young women with the names of Saints. The idea been was that, what name of the Saint that was pulled out that, person that pulled out the name of the Saint was to try and live by example of the life of that Saints name. This to bring Christian belief in more stronger and to remove the pagan ritual festival out of Rome and strengthen Christianity in Europe. The Roman soldiers were not pleased at all by this new introduction to their pagan ritual to the god Lupercus and its festival.
The Church in A.D. 496, looked for an example and found it in Valentine Bishop of Interamna.
Pope Gelasuius also used the replacing of the pagan festival of Lupercus with the Christian beliefs. As a result, the Feast of Purification, was one of the main celebrations which was held on February 14th and is 40 days after Epiphany. The celebration of Valentine's Day has many different feasts and beliefs that settled the day of celebration to be every year February 14th.
The following events and festivals that happened mid February were: Imbolc, Oimelc, Brigit's Day, The Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary, Ground Hog's Day, and Canldemas are all in the same time period. The Christian conversion of the pagan beliefs were replaced and Saint Valentine made it so, to what it is today, "Valentine's Day". It was not until the 16th century that the pagan ceremony of Luperus (Lupercalia), was replaced by Christianity of celebrations.
The giving of writing messages, flowers and gifts was started when Valentine was held in prison with hand writing letters from the soldiers of statements where, they wrote to Valentine and stated: "Love should be replaced by War". They sent him garlands of flowers in the spirit of platonic love that Saint Valentine taught to the pagan soldiers and those he married in secret to their lovers from the lottery draw. What he taught in Christian belief, showed in the conversion of pagan to Christian belief to where it is known as today. A giving and receiving adjoined with the fertility of procreation in the love of two and to be and announced or, proclaimed on the day of Valentine's.
The actual giving of cards was started by "Charles, Duke of Orleans" in 1415 when he sent a card to his wife while he was a prisoner in "The Tower of London". He died a half of century later of old age. His card can been seen in the British Museum. By the 17th century, handmade cards were been made in the oversize and elaborate way and shops were selling them in smaller sizes. The more elaborate the card the more it said of love to the one sent to.
The first publication on verses for the young that did not compose, their own verses for their cards was by a British publisher in 1797. The publication was called "The Young Man's Valentine Writer" which, contained sentimental verses for the young lover's to write on their cards to send to their Valentine.
Printers started to print Valentine cards with verses and and drawings that became known as "Mechanical Valentine's". The first American publisher of Valentine's was printed by "Esther Howland". They were elaborate lace cards and cost from 5 dollars to 10 dollars in the 1870's.
This giving of printed cards grew to where, even anonymous cards were sent and people started to exchange cards via the the postal services that grew in popularity to what it is known as today. The tradition of honouring Valentine is now marked and celebrated through out the world on February 14th of each year. The meaning of love and fertility in what started as a pagan ritual to the teachings of Saint Valentine known for his Christian conversion from paganism.
From falling in love to getting married that today makes Valentine's Day as a time when most couples remember as the day of "Popping the Question". Today, on Valentine's it famous and used as the time to step forward and ask the question or send in greetings of a card giving to another asking to either: "Go Steady", "Get Married", or "Let Yourself be Known to Another with a Valentine Greeting".
Valentine taught the love of one another in Platonic spirit, heart, mind and soul of two joining and becoming one. The blind love of one that does not know of the love from another is still understood with peoples of all placements and beliefs. It is not until the card is written and sent as when, Valentine first wrote to "Asterius", "From Your Valentine". Love is blind till, your eyes are opened with the sending of a Valentine from one that tells of his or hers heart that, tells you, you have a Valentine?
Where once you saw the one you know,
As friend or neighbour or fellow worker,
And as you go and be among,
Unknown to you is your "Valentine",
Blind you be to this person that sees,
More in you that even you can see,
A person whom has gotten to know,
You as a person where love can grow,
And all the while there be that person,
And it is not until the card is sent,
With, perhaps a quote or verse,
And signed there of,
With "Be My Valentine?"
And still you must,
Sit and ponder,
As to who sent you this card?
Like all the rest,
That receive a card on,