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Little do many know that the February 14th holiday marked by stocking  up on cards and candy is grounded in both Pagan and Catholic orIgin stories. It is said that Valentine’s Day originated in the 6th century BC and comes from the Lupercalia festival, a Pagan celebration of fertility that occurred on February 15 in Rome every year. As the story of the festival goes, the women would come together and place their names in a huge urn. Unmarried men would then take turns choosing a name at random and whoever they chose would be their partner for the year, often ending in marriage.  

It’s only in the 3rd century AD that the man who would later become Saint Valentine was executed by Roman Emperor Claudius II.  It is widely believed that Claudius sent Valentine to prison for helping Christian couples get married at a time when it was forbidden. During his time in prison, Valentine tutored a young blind woman called Julia who was the daughter of his jailer. It is believed that God restored Julia’s sight after the two prayed together. And on the evening before his execution, Valentine wrote a note to her and signed it with, “From your Valentine.” The Catholic Church declared this Valentine a saint and listed him as a martyr on February 14 – aka. St Valentine’s Day.

So how do we celebrate Valentine's Day today? Religious and non-religious people alike use the day to celebrate romantic love. It's one of the busiest days of the year for restaurant reservations as couples flock to a special dinner. Chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and greeting cards are popular gifts on this day as you well know. Nonna and I worked on some new apparel this season and curated a few favorites for your Valentine.

 

Shop the entire VALENTINE COLLECTION HERE

Tis the Season for Panettoni