Saint Valentine



What about Valentines Day. How did that all get started? The question came to me from the original thread on St Jerome. It appears to be another thing out of Rome. I do not see anything in the bible about it, so I cannot say for sure if it was an idea from Jesus or the Apostles.

Valentines Day History

There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine". Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine.

Gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. The date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers. There was often a social gathering or a ball.

In the United States, Miss Esther Howland is given credit for sending the first valentine cards. Commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800's and now the date is very commercialised. The town of Loveland, Colorado, does a large post office business around February 14. The spirit of good continues as valentines are sent out with sentimental verses and children exchange valentine cards at school.

The History of Saint Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia.

The lives of young boys and girls were strictly separate. However, one of the customs of the young people was name drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry.

Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius the Cruel was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed that the reason was that roman men did not want to leave their loves or families. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. The good Saint Valentine was a priest at Rome in the days of Claudius II. He and Saint Marius aided the Christian martyrs and secretly married couples, and for this kind deed Saint Valentine was apprehended and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, about the year 270. At that time it was the custom in Rome, a very ancient custom, indeed, to celebrate in the month of February the Lupercalia, feasts in honour of a heathen god. On these occasions, amidst a variety of pagan ceremonies, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed.

The pastors of the early Christian Church in Rome endeavoured to do away with the pagan element in these feasts by substituting the names of saints for those of maidens. And as the Lupercalia began about the middle of February, the pastors appear to have chosen Saint Valentine's Day for the celebration of this new feaSt. So it seems that the custom of young men choosing maidens for valentines, or saints as patrons for the coming year, arose in this way.

This is a copy and paste from this site.

KnightoftheRose said:
Interesting stuff. Kind of depressing for such a romantic holiday, though. :)
Yah. I thought the origin was odd. Almost the complete opposite of the common view of it today. I looked at the calendar today and it said, ST. VALENTINES DAY...I don't remember it being called that until now but appearantly that is how it started.
Interesting indeed. It's so sad this day became a commercial stuff nowadays.

Did you know Al Capone murdered 7 members of the George "Bugs" Moran gang in 1929, known as the St. Valentine's massacre ?

It seems this day is celebrated only in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia. Well, in the rest of the world, people do not have to worry to buy chocolates and flowers.:)

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap".
From :
Bandit said:
Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius the Cruel was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed that the reason was that roman men did not want to leave their loves or families.

Or maybe if he would have chosen a nicer name, like Claudius the Caring, people would have been more willing to join. ;)

I thought Hallmark invented Valentine's Day-- the day that celebrates the consumer's willingness to empty their pockets in a plastic attempt to buy love. Have you ever seen the Simpsons episode about "Love Day?" I think it's a valid commentary.
If I am not Catholic and the whole Saint thing doesnt matter to me than I am not obligated to celebrate these "holidays". lol

No really it poses an interesting question on why some "saints" are still honored among protestant churches and others aren't

I have read Foxes book of martyrs very interesting reading.
When is Saint Pauls Day and what do I send ?? How about Stephen the first martyr When is His day and do we sit rocks in a row on the window sill to remind us how he was Stoned???

No and why you ask ???? No money in it period. no good way to commercialize it to sad the public would never go for it.
We managed to sell easter real well when we added Bunnies and colored eggs to draw attention away from the fact that during passover Jesus was brutally beaten and nailed to a cross. All that gets left out during the egg hunt.

I could go on but why? Sound like I have a bad attitude when it comes to all this YUP. My wife got the same Kiss this morning she did yesterday

I celebrated Ground Hog day Feb. 2 I like it seems to be the only Holiday I havent found to be over done and really has no roots to anything other than good clean fun and looking forward to spring.

" This Do in Rememberance of Me " singular word "this" Lets see He was having the traditional passover meal He made symbols of the Bread and wine being His Body and His Blood.
Where we Got the idea that wasn't enough and decided to add all this other junk is easy. Keeping up with the Jones
Every other religion had feast days all the time we had to add them to save face . And it is much easier to convert pagens "No offence to pagens" if all your feast days line up with theirs.

Ok I am being legalistic again nevemind "Happy whatever day you want it to be day"
Kindest Regards, all!

A particular thanks to Bandit for the research, interesting thread starter!

For Basstian, a good resource you may wish to look into: "The Two Babylons," by Rev. A. Hislop. Dry, scholarly reading, but very informative concerning the development of Christian holidays from their pagan roots.

My two cents, carry on! :)
The History channel always does a nice job pulling things like this together.
I am pretty sure Sweetest Day is a Hallmark thing, like one day of chocolate and flowers is not enough. I just found out about that a couple of years ago.

Now, I was curious about the cupid too. LOL

I found this beautiful painting of St. Valentine and St. Lucilla (i have no idea), and the painting I would not mind having. But I don't see how a water baptism and cupids/ baby cherub go together, but this artist did. I am not catholic either, so this is all new for me. I am not sure, but I don't think it is all just a catholic thing.

See full-size image.

c. 1575; Oil on canvas; Museo Civico, Bassano del Grappa

An extraordinary burst of light bounces off the characters, casting silky reflections on the robes and making the gold glimmer. The painter produced this masterpiece when he was well into his middle age. It gives us tremendous insight into his enormously innovative power which fell between popular realism and magical effects. It is astounding to think Jacopo Bassano was able to produce paintings of this stature when he was so removed from the major centres of art.