Valentine’s Day is commonly known as a day to express affection for loved ones with greetings and gifts, but its origin remains a bit of a mystery. Some suggest that the holiday dates back to Lupercalia, a Roman festival to ward off evil spirits and infertility that was later banned in the fifth century, while others have said that the true origin of the day is related to a priest named Valentine who was martyred circa 270 CE by emperor Claudius II. According to one legend, the priest signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter. Other accounts tell the story of St. Valentine of Terni, a bishop who secretly married couples to spare husbands from war. What is your personal history with Valentine’s Day? Using these origin stories as inspiration, write an essay that explores your memories of this holiday of love.
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