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This article is about the liturgical celebration and romantic holiday.For Brazil's corresponding celebration, see Dia dos Namorados. For other uses, see Valentine's Day (disambiguation). It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honoring one or more early saints named Valentinus, and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.

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In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines").

In Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart", as well as to children, in order to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine's Malady).

Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid.

Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.

Many parts of the Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrate Saint Valentine's Day, albeit on July 6 and July 30, the former date in honor of the Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and the latter date in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni).

Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred in 269 and was added to the calendar of saints by Pope Galesius in 496 and was buried on the Via Flaminia.The relics of Saint Valentine were kept in the Church and Catacombs of San Valentino in Rome, which "remained an important pilgrim site throughout the Middle Ages until the relics of St.Valentine were transferred to the church of Santa Prassede during the pontificate of Nicholas IV".Valentine of Terni became bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) and is said to have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian in 273.He is buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location from Valentine of Rome.His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni (Basilica di San Valentino). Oruch states that "abstracts of the acts of the two saints were in nearly every church and monastery of Europe." The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under date of February 14.

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