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Valentine's Day tradition has strong connection to blindness

Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day Richard Elzey via Flickr

Is Valentine's Day really just a holiday fabricated by greeting card companies to help them sell chocolate, cards and flowers? Maybe, but the holiday does have religious roots, and a blind woman has a big role in the story.

The origin of Saint Valentine remains a mystery, but some believe he was a Roman martyred for refusing to give up his Christian faith. Another theory is that the holy priest got caught assisting martyrs in the persecution during the reign of Claudius II. Saint Valentine was beheaded on Feb. 14, in approximately 270 A.D. Pope Gelasius marked Feb. 14th as a day to celebrate Saint Valentine's martyrdom beginning in 496 A.D.

According to about.com:

The most famous miracle attributed to Saint Valentine involved a note that he sent to a young blind girl named Julia who Valentine had befriended. Shortly before he was martyred ... Valentine wrote Julia a farewell note. Believers say that God miraculously cured Julia of her blindness so that she could personally read Valentine’s note, rather than just have someone else read it to her.

Valentine signed Julia’s note “From your Valentine,” and that loving note, combined with the memory of Valentine’s support of engaged and married couples in his work as a priest, led to the tradition of sending loving messages on his feast day, Valentine’s Day.

Valentine was the patron saint of love, young people and happy marriages.

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