A question we often get at this time of year: “Was Saint Valentine a real person?”
The short answer: We don’t know, and nobody really does. Even the Catholic Encyclopedia says there were at least three different St. Valentines associated with February 14th.
The most colorful stories, like the imprisoned saint sending a love note signed “From your Valentine,” were almost surely made up later. That’s as the legend got mixed up with Lupercalia, the mate-choosing love birds of Chaucer, and eventually Hallmark (which didn’t get in on the action until 1913).