History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a very popular commercialized holiday. It is celebrated in many different countries, like America, United Kingdom, Australia, and more. There are many theories on how Valentine’s Day came to be.

The first one is that it came from martyrs of the Catholic faith. It is hard to tell from which martyr it came from because there were a few. The first well known Valentine’s was a priest that married people behind the emperor’s (Claudia II) back. The emperor thought men that were married and had a family weren’t good soldiers. This made the emperor outlaw marriages. But Valentines still decided to marry people, in secret. When the emperor found out, he executed Valentines. The second Valentines was Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop. Claudia II also killed him, but it is believed to be for different reasons. It was believed that Saint Valentine of Terni was helping Christians escape the persecutions that was happening in the Roman prisons. Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine of Terni. The last theory is believed to be a priest that was in jail, who sent a letter to jailor’s daughter. This priest signed the letter “From your Valentine”. It is unknown where Valentine’s Day originated from. These theories come from a Christian perspective and beliefs, but the Pagans have a different beliefs.

The Pagans believed that the Christians were trying take over Lupercalia, a Pagan holiday. Lupercalia was a fertility festival that was dedicated to Faunus, Romulus, and Remus. Faunus is the Roman god of agriculture. Romulus and Remus were both the founders of Rome. This festival would start on February 15th. An order of Roman priests would gather in a sacred cave. It is believed that infant Romulus and Remus grew up in this cave. The priests would then sacrifice a goat and a dog. The goat represented fertility and the dog represented purification. The Roman priests would cut the goat’s hide into strips and dip is in the sacrificial blood. Then they would go out and gently slap the women and crop fields with the strips of bloody goat. The women didn’t mind being gently slapped by the bloody goat strips. They thought that it would make them more fertile. Later on, the women would place their names in an urn. The city bachelors would then would come and pick a name. This meant that the women and men would be paired for a year. In the 5th century, Lupercalia was outlawed.

Pope Gelasius declared that Valentine’s Day would be on February 14th. At this time, the holiday wasn’t associated with love. Around 1400s-1500s, valentine messages started appearing. In the 1800s, printed Valentine’s Day cards were being printed. This would happen later on. In present time, Valentine’s Day is a huge commercialized holiday. But this year’s Valentine’s Day, will be interesting, due to Covid.