2017-02-06
Valentine's Day, celebrated every year on February 14, has become synonymous with bouquets of red roses and chocolates in heart-shaped boxes. But do you know why we celebrate Valentine's Day on February 14 or the legend behind St. Valentine? Test your knowledge with 14 questions on Valentine's Day history.
1

What is one of the more popular legends surrounding St. Valentine?

In third century Rome, Emperor Claudius II forbid young, single men to get married because he believed they made better soldiers than married men with families. A priest named Valentine still married young couples in secret until he was discovered and executed. Another legend tells of a jailed Valentine falling in love with the jailor's daughter. Before dying, he wrote a letter to her and signed it, "From your Valentine." Read more info: • Wikipedia.com: Valentine's Day • History.com: The History of Valentine's Day
2

How many saints named Valentine are officially recognized by the Catholic Church?

At least three martyred saints were named Valentine or Valentinus. Read more info: • Wikipedia.com: Valentine's Day • History.com: The History of Valentine's Day
3

Controversy surrounds why Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14. One belief is that February 14 commemorates the day of St. Valentine’s death, though which one is uncertain. What is the other belief?

Another reason why Valentine's Day may be celebrated on February 14 is that it's the start of mating season for birds. This was a common belief in England and France during the Middle Ages. Read more info: • Wikipedia.com: Valentine's Day • History.com: The History of Valentine's Day
4

Which pope declared February 14 as Valentine’s Day?

In 498 A.D., Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as Valentine's Day in order to overshadow the Pagan festival Lupercalia. Read more info: • Wikipedia.com: Valentine's Day • History.com: The History of Valentine's Day
5

The British Library in London displays a love poem that is considered to be the oldest and earliest record of a Valentine. Who wrote it?

While he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, Charles, Duke of Orleans, wrote a poem to his beloved, Bonne d'Armagnac. The first two lines of his poem were: "Je suis deja d'amour tanné / Ma tres dolce Valentine..." Valentine's Day sentiments became known as "poetical or amorous addresses." Read more info: • Suite101.com: The Early History of Valentine's Day Cards • History.com: The History of Valentine's Day
6

Which book was published in 1797 to help British men write verses of love and affection for Valentine's Day?

Before Valentine cards were mass-produced, lovers had to write their own verses. Pamphlets and chapbooks known as valentine "writers" with already-written poems and riddles were circulated to help men and women who needed inspiration. Some of these booklets were titled "The New English Valentine Writer," "Cupid's Annual Charter," "The School of Love," "Cupid's Messenger," and "Every Lady's Own Valentine Writer." Read more info: • Wikipedia.com: Valentine's Day • History.com: The History of Valentine's Day • VictorianMagazine.com: Valentine Writers
7

Which woman mass-produced the first Valentine’s Day cards in America?

Also known as the "Mother of the Valentine,” Esther Allen Howland was an American woman who became inspired to create Valentine's Day cards after receiving one in 1847. Valentine cards had always been imported from Britain, but Esther imported materials from Britain instead and began creating cards to be sold in America. Her successful company was eventually sold to George C. Whitney in 1881. For more info: • The Early History of Valentine's Day Cards • History.com: The History of Valentine's Day
8

Which Shakespeare play has the lines, “Good morrow, ‘tis Saint Valentine’s Day”?

In Act IV, Scene IV for "Hamlet," Ophelia sings these lines. For more info: • WilliamShakespeare.Info: Full Text of "Hamlet"
9

Every year, thousands of letters about love are written to Shakespeare’s Juliet in Verona. On Valentine’s Day each year, a Dear Juliet prize is awarded to the person who:

The Juliet Club is an association of volunteers who read and answer letters written from around the world asking for Juliet's advice on love. The Juliet Club also awards the Dear Juliet prize each year. For more info: • The Juliet Club
10

How did the “X” in “XOXO” come to represent a kiss?

At a time when education wasn't available to everyone, people who couldn't write their names wrote an "X" at the end of a letter or document. The "X" was then kissed as a sign of honesty. For more info: • HugKiss.com: The Custom of Xs and Os • AskYahoo.com: How Did 'XOXO' Become Hugs and Kisses? • Yahoo.com: What Is the Meaning of XOXO?
11

One of the universally recognized symbols of Valentine’s Day is the heart. There are several theories on how this heart icon came about. What is one of the theories?

The heart Saint Margaret Mary Alocoque saw became known as the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The heart shape may have also come from a now-extinct North African plant called "silphium" that had heart-shaped seeds. In addition to being a highly valuable commodity for trade, the plant was also associated with sexuality and birth control. Read more info: • Heartsmith.com: The History of the Heart
12

Sweethearts Conversation Hearts were first produced by the company Necco in 1866. What were they originally called?

Daniel Chase, one of the two brothers who founded Necco, invented a process for printing messages directly on candies. Initially, Sweethearts Conversation Hearts were created in the shapes of baseballs, watches, postcards, horseshoes, and large hearts that were printed with longer messages. For more info: • Necco.com: History of Conversation Hearts • Necco.com: Conversation Hearts Fun Facts
13

Which former celebrity couple married on February 14?

Other celebrities who have gotten married on February 14 are actress Keri Russell to Shane Deary, actress Sharon Stone to Phil Bronstein, and actress Salma Hayek to Francois Henri-Pinault. For more info: • Celebrity Bride Guide: Valentine's Day Weddings
14

Which country below does not celebrate Valentine's Day?

In addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia. Read more info: • Wikipedia.com: Valentine's Day • History.com: The History of Valentine's Day
Your result is:

You've never crossed paths with Saint Valentine.

You answered out of questions correctly.

Take quiz again
try another quiz
How Real is Your Faith?
Your result is:

You might need some help from Saint Valentine.

You answered out of questions correctly.

Take quiz again
try another quiz
How Real is Your Faith?
Your result is:

You could be a Saint Valentine-in-training.

You answered out of questions correctly.

Take quiz again
try another quiz
How Real is Your Faith?
Your result is:

You could be Saint Valentine himself.

You answered out of questions correctly.

Take quiz again
try another quiz
How Real is Your Faith?
more from beliefnet and our partners