I've always viewed Valentine's Day as a rather ridiculous holiday. Perhaps it is because I'm still harboring a small amount of bitterness about routinely less then stellar Valentine's exchanges throughout much of grade school or the fact that we are forced to acknowledge this holiday fabricated to line the pockets of greeting card company executives. However, few know the actual origins of this holiday...

Valentine's Day is originally a religious holiday honoring early Christian martyrs. Of the most popular legends, is that of St. Valentine who was recognized as a priest and served during the third century of Rome under the reign of Emperor Claudius II. The emperor decided that single men made better soldiers then married men and outlawed marriage throughout Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice, went forth and continued performing marriages in secret. When Valentine was discovered he was ordered to death by Claudius all in the name of love. Other early Christian martyrs were often recognized or named as Valentine's, as well. 

So there you have it -- the exciting origin tale of St. Valentine. A much more compelling tale, if you ask, me than that of a bunch of Hallmark executives sitting around a table trying to figure out how to turn a profit.

Alas, I leave with you a few Valentine's of my own to help soundtrack your holiday.