Valentine’s Day History


Just How Did Valentine's Day Begin? 

The mystery around the beginning of Valentines Day dates back to ancient times with the celebration of the “Feast of Lupercal”, which was in honor of the Roman God of Fertility. The day is February 15th of each year. On February 14th or the eve of the festival is the day in which a ritual called name drawing was preformed. Name drawing, in essence, was when a young man would draw a name from a group of all the available girls and she would be his sweetheart for the entire year.

From this festival, came the day of Cupid which is February 14th, Cupid was known as the playful son of Venus.
Another legend of how Valentines Day came to be, also originated in Rome. This legend recalls excerpts of the life of Bishop Valentine. Bishop Valentine was a priest in Rome during the time it was ruled by Claudius the Cruel. Claudius had forbidden Christian conversions and Christian marriages. Bishop Valentine refused to worship Roman Gods and secretly carried on his own Christian beliefs. Claudius had Bishop Valentine arrested and thrown into prison for disobedience. During his time in prison, he still converted prisoners to Christianity. He also became very close to the jailer’s daughter and she was loyal to him as well during this time. He never wavered from his Christian beliefs. On the day of his execution, Bishop Valentine wrote a letter to the jailer’s daughter in which he wrote the words “From your Valentine”. Because he died for his beliefs, he was chosen as the patron Saint of Lovers. February 14th was chosen as the day for celebrating this Patron Saint of Lovers, Bishop Valentine.

There are other stories floating around Bishop Valentine, how he received this honor and the reasons we celebrate Valentine’s Day today. One story states that the same Claudius forbid any type of marriages during the time Bishop Valentine was performing marriages. Claudius believed that single men made better soldiers than single men and therefore, forbid anyone from marrying. Bishop Valentine disobeyed and performed marriages for young couples in love. This is one tale of why he was imprisoned.

No matter, how Valentine’s Day came to be it has been for centuries the day of love and lovers. 

Valentine’s Day History

Valentine’s Day History

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