Well, about the only thing that seems to be consistent about the history of Valentine's Day is that it has to do with a Roman Christian named Valentine who was martyred in the 3rd century. From there, the accounts change...
One says that Valentine was imprisoned for not worshiping the Emperor. While in prison, the jailer's daughter, who was blind, was healed when Valentine prayed for her. Forty-six people believed in Jesus, and the Emperor was so mad that he had Valentine beheaded. The story goes that he sent a letter (while he still had his head, of course!) to the jailer's daughter signed "Your Valentine" and that's why we send Valentines today.
Some accounts say he was in love with her, some don't.
Other accounts tell of THREE different martyrs named Valentine who are honored by this day. Some accounts tell of Claudius II (I think) who thought that single men made better soldiers, so he outlawed marriage. (This is still like 4th or 5th century.) A priest named Valentine secretly married young couples against the Emperor's decree, so he was put to death.
I guess my point is that Valentine's Day isn't a Hallmark Holiday (like MANY other days.... Sweetest Day, Secretary's Day, Boss's Day, etc). There is a history.
But the life of one martyr comes to mind that we KNOW is true: the life of Jesus Christ. His love for us was so overwhelming that He chose, yes CHOSE to die a horrible, cruel, punishing, painful death, so that we might have eternal life.
"When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:6-8 NLT
I wonder if I would have the courage to die for someone I love. I would hope so. But I DO know I can demonstrate that love by how I live my life. Even with chronic illness, dealing with depression and discouragement on a regular basis, I REALLY want the overall sum of my life to be about love and hope. I have bad days. I will continue to have bad days. But I so pray that the good outweigh the bad, and that I encourage more than I let down.
So today, let's try to love like Jesus. Love the unlovable. Love those who are different. Love those who DON'T love you. You don't need to tell them. Just show them.