– According to legend, Valentine was a bishop who, during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius II (around 270 C.E.), disobeyed the emperor’s ruling and secretly performed marriage ceremonies for soldiers and their beloved.  He was executed for this but is remembered as the champion of lovers.

– Another version of the origins of the holiday is that Valentine’s Day is the christianization of the pagan Roman holiday of Lupercalia, which celebrated fertility.

– The celebration of Valentine’s Day started in the 14th century.  It is said that February was chosen because it is the beginning of the mating season for birds.

– In the Middle Ages, young men and women would draw names out of a box to find out who their Valentine would be.  They would then wear that name pinned on their arm for a week.  There originates the expression “to wear you heart on your sleeve”.

– Casanova is said to have eaten a lot of chocolates, which he thought would make him more virile.

– Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in the late 1800’s.

– Hallmark produced its first Valentine’s Day card in 1913.

– The red rose was said to be the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman Goddess of love.  This is why the color red has come to symbolize strong romantic feelings.

– Over $ 1 billion worth of chocolates is purchased every year in the US for Valentine’s Day.  More than 36 million heart shaped boxes of chocolates are sold.

– About 3 percent of pet owners give their pet a Valentine’s Day present.

– About 220,000 proposals are made every year on Valentine’s Day