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Origin of Valentine's Day

Updated on February 5, 2017

When did Valentines Day begin?

It was said to have been adopted in the year 313 A.D when a fertility celebration known as Lupercalia was held at the church; it was said that this tradition served as a former practice of the late Emperor Anthemius. The festival of Lupercalia claimed to be derived from Fanus, the Roman god of agriculture, and Romulus and Remus, the Roman founders. The religion known as Christianity climbed its way to the forefront of the Roman Empire and eventually became legalized as a state religion. Ultimately, in effort to “Christianize” the fertility tradition, the Christian church celebrated it as the Valentine’s holiday in order to celebrate in memory of St. Valentine.

Who is Saint Valentine?

Formerly known as a Roman Priest, Valentine served in Rome during the 3rd century. He was also known, according to CBN, as the “Patron saint of lovers”. It has been said that the Catholic Church recognised two saint names, namely Valentine and Valentinus.

According to, there were two assumptions made as to how Saint Valentine got acquainted with Romance. The first assumption was when Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriages for young men due to his reasoning that men were made better soldiers when they were not tied to a family or wives. Because of this reasoning, Valentine opposed Claudius’ decision and, in secret, went forth in joining lovers in marriage. It was not until later when the secret was exposed that Claudius demanded a death penalty for Valentine.

Another assumption mentioned was that Valentine’s imprisonment led him to falling in love with a jailors daughter, he had been in her care for the time he had spent in prison, and before his death he wrote her a letter signed “from your Valentine” which evidentially became the leading statement used today for the Valentines holiday.

It is clear from the above notion that Valentine possessed a strong belief in love and because of this legend, it has made a permanent mark on our yearly calendar, and has been a day for commemorating Saint Valentine for the romance figure he so bravely held.



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