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The history of Valentine’s Day, originated during the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers, so he outlawed marriage for young men. A young priest named Valentine was furious with this injustice and defied Claudius by continuing to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. Claudius eventually discovered Valentine’s actions and sentenced him to death.
During his time in jail, Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter, who visited him in prison. Before he was put to death, Valentine sent a letter to the girl and signed it, “From Your Valentine” — an expression we still use today. Valentine was executed on February 14, 270 AD. Later, around 496 AD, Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14 a day to honour Valentine, who by that time had become a saint.
More than 250 million roses are produced for Valentine's Day, according to estimates from the trade group Society of American Florists. They are picked in Colombia and Ecuador and kept in cold storage while flown to Miami. Ironically, the number of private florists has dropped 45% since 2001, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Most of the roses we see today can be traced back to the late 1700s, when they began to trickle into Europe ( Images 1,2,4,5 ). The flower itself may not be the only reason for its expression of love. The color of traditional roses, red, represents passion. David Austin, who died last year, wanted to breed a rose that combined the rosette-shaped flowers and fragrance of Old Roses such as gallicas, albas and damasks, with the repeat-flowering characteristics of Hybrid Tea roses such as the bestselling Peace. Images 4, 5 show David Austin roses in Mayfair, London. Image 3 shows a collage of tiny Alpine flowers, only seen at high altitude #roses - 6 days ago