Who Wrote the First Valentine?

wrote-first-valentine Credit: JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Getty Images

The first valentine was reportedly written by St. Valentine himself, who had been jailed for illegally conducting marriages in second-century Rome, according to the BBC. The story holds that this Bishop Valentine fell in love with the jailer's daughter while in prison, and he wrote her a letter on the day of his execution.

This last-minute written declaration of love was handed off to the object of Valentine's affection, and it was signed, 'from your Valentine,' thus beginning the tradition of love notes known as valentines and the practice of calling one's sweetheart by the same name. Excluded from the practice, fortunately, is what happened to St. Valentine after he passed this note to his love: he was beheaded.