10 Facts 

Valentine’s Day: Top 10 facts about this annual day of love

1. Apart from his association with lovers, St Valentine is patron saint of beekeepers, epilepsy and plague.

2. The feast of St Valentine on February 14 was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496…

3. …but there are at least three St Valentines with February 14 feasts, one from Rome, one from central Italy and one who suffered in Africa.

4. Even Pope Gelasius said that facts about St Valentine and his acts were “known only to God”.

5. Chaucer, in his “Parliament of Foules” written in the 1380s, mentioned a belief that February 14 was the date birds choose their mate.

6. The idea of a mid-February romantic celebration may have been inspired by the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia on February 15.

7. The world’s first Valentine message is believed to have been sent by Margery Brews of Norfolk, to her fiancé John Paston in 1477.

8. Thailand issued the world’s first rose-scented stamps in February 2002 for Valentine’s Day.

9. Valentine’s Day is the second most popular day for sending cards, beaten only by Christmas.

10. In 1537, Henry VIII declared Valentine’s Day a holiday in England.

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