For those who are interested, I have included the history of St Valentine’s Day, a holiday dedicated to lovers, courtesy of Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006:
St Valentine’s Day
It is celebrated on February 14 by the custom of sending greeting cards or gifts to express affection to a chosen partner. The cards, known as valentines, are generally sent anonymously and are often designed with hearts to symbolize love.
The holiday probably derives from the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalis (February 15). Originally a festival for shepherds, it was celebrated in honour of Faunus. Its primary purpose was to secure fertility for the fields, the flocks, and the shepherds themselves. The festival gradually became associated with the feast day (February 14) of two Roman martyrs, both named St Valentine, who lived in the 3rd century, but about whom nothing specific is known.
St Valentine has traditionally been regarded as the patron saint of lovers. An early reference is found in the works of Chaucer, who states that birds pair on St Valentine’s Day. The practice of calling oneself a “valentine” and asking one’s beloved to be the same, is referred to in the Paston Letters, the largest surviving collection of 15th-century English correspondence written by the Paston family and their neighbours in Norfolk.
(Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.)