“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”

Ah love; never is it more expressed than in February. The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. There were 3 different saints named Valentinus or Valentine.

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One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

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Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons. 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. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today.

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With the day fast approaching, some of us are struggling to find just the right gift to express our feelings. Studies show the top Valentines gifts (for both men and women) are cards, flowers, chocolate, lingerie, jewelry, personal items and wine.

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We are highlighting a few of the gifts that we like this Valentine’s Day, using our Rossi 1931 papers. Feel free to use our ideas if you are still searching !

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www.mastbrothers.com 

Annie Howes

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