Here's all you need to know about one of our favorite holidays:
1. Under the rule of Claudius II, aka Claudius the Cruel, Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. The emperor had a hard time getting soldiers to join his military and believed that Roman men were unwilling to join because of their attachments to their wives and families. His solution? Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. But Bishop Valentine defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages in secret. When his actions were discovered, Valentine was arrested and ordered to be beaten with clubs and beheaded. The sentence was carried out on February 14, around 270 A.D. Valentine was eventually named a saint.
2. In 1537, England's King Henry VII officially declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day.
3. Allegedly the X symbol became synonymous with a kiss in medieval times. People who didn't now how to write their names signed an X. Then the X was kissed as a display of sincerity.
4. Every Valentine's Day, Verona, a city in Italy where Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet.
5. More than 140 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged annually in the U.S.
6. More than $1 billion worth of chocolate is purchased for Valentine's Day in the U.S.
7. Approximately 110 million roses (mostly red) will be sold during Valentine's Day in the U.S.
8. About 220,000 wedding proposals occur on Valentine's Day each year.
Happy Valentine's Day!