Many historians consider it began from an ancient Roman festival. This was held on February, 14 to honor Faunus, the god of animal life, hunting, the patron of husbandry and the guardian of the secret lore of nature. After Christianity spread, this pagan festival became Valentine's Day.
St. Valentine was a priest who would marry young couples against the orders of the Roman Emperor Claudius 11, who believed that single young men made better soldiers.
St. Valentine was a good friend to children. Because he would not worship the gods decreed by the Roman emperor, he was put in prison. The children missed him and brought him loving notes. Many notes expressed the thought that "absence makes the heart grow fonder." This is why we exchange friendly and caring messages on this day.
Single women could learn their future husbands. In England women wrote men's names on scraps of paper, rolled each in a ball of clay, and dropped them into water. The first paper that surfaced supposedly had the name of the woman's true love.
Some people connect the celebrating of Valentine's Day with an old English belief that birds choose their mates on February.
Commercial valentines were first made in the early 1800s. Kate Greenaway, a British artist, was one of the makers of valentines. Her valentines are known for her drawing of little children and the varied shades of blues and greens.