Using the language of the law courts for the rituals of courtly love, a "High Court of Love" was established in Paris on Valentine's Day in 1400. The court dealt with love contracts, betrayals, and violence against women. Judges were selected by women on the basis of a poetry reading.
The earliest surviving valentine dates from 1415. It is a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife. At the time, the duke was being held in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. It is probable that the various legends about St. Valentine were invented during this period.
Among these legends: On the evening before Valentine was to be martyred for being a Christian, he passed a love note to his jailer's daughter that read, "From your Valentine."
During a ban on marriages of Roman soldiers by the Emperor Claudius II, St. Valentine secretly helped arrange marriages.
The Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately one billion valentines are sent each year worldwide, making the day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year behind Christmas. The association estimates that women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.