Valentine Day Celebration

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Valentine Day Story, When Valentine’s Day Started?

Valentine Day Story, When Valentine’s Day Started?

Valentine day is special for each of us. Love is one of those amazing God’s gift to humankind and Valentine day brings out the reason to celebrate love. But, when we ask what is the reason behind celebrating Valentine’s day? There a long rich history back into the Medieval period.

We all know we celebrate the festival of love which carries its name from a saint named Valentine. But what exactly Valentine did? And why do we say will you be my Valentine? The answers lie in the action of St. Valentine which helped the persecuted soldiers.

So, here is the story of Valentine’s day but before we go through you need to understand the Pagan festival of Love (Lupercalia). This will give a clear understanding of why Valentine’s day became heavily associated with love!


Roman Pagan Festival Lupercalia

13-15 February was celebrated as a festival of Lupercalia. A Roman festival of purification and fertility. The festival began with the sacrifice of goats and a dog. Men used to wear the whips in order to impress Roman Goddess of Love.

At this time many of the noble youths and magistrates strip down naked striking those they meet with thongs. Many women also purposely get in their way believing will thus be helped in delivery and the barren to pregnancy.

Only reason Lupercalia is associated with Valentine is because of three main reasons.

  • Love cupids were the part of the Lupercalia celebrations which are highly associated with romance.
  • Alike Lupercalia, Valentine’s day is also the festival of fertility and love.
  • When Pagan rites had been outlawed, Churches Christianized this festival as Valentine’s day honoring Valentine.


Valentine Day Story, When Valentine’s Day Started?

Valentine Day Story, When Valentine's Day Started?

As we said, the origin of Valentine isn’t romantic at all. This was back in the 3rd century A.D. when Roman Empire was ruled by Claudius.

An Emporer who opposed the ideologies of Christianity and had a deep hatred towards them. He prohibited marriages of young men because he taught this makes men weak.

St. Valentine and Christian churches saw marriage as sacred between man and woman. Therefore they opposed the idea of the emperor.

“The idea of encouraging them to marry within the Christian church was what Valentine was about. And he secretly married them because of the edict.”

Soon Valentine was caught for going against the Emperor’s orders and thrown into jail. It is also said that emperor loved his principles so much that he wanted him to worship Roman Gods.

Valentine refused and was ordered by 3-way death punishment of beating, stoning, and decapitation.

But before his death, Valentine was put in jail before his actual punishment was being declared. One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman laws was Asterius, whose daughter was blind.

It is said that Valentine helped her to see the world through the blind eyes. Valentine’s preachings and helping her recover faith in God – helped her in a way that he healed her eyes. This astonished Asterius in such a way that his whole family decided to follow Christianity.


Why do we sign off saying from your Valentine?

The day before death sentenced, Valentine wrote a letter to the Asterius’ daughter signing off “your Valentine”. This set to be today’s romantic missives by writing it “from your Valentine”.


What Valentine’s day means to us?

Valentine Day Story, When Valentine's Day Started?

There comes a time where you have to lay your life on the line for what you believe. And with the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do that — even to the point of death.

Even in the modern world, couples in a relationship have to go through difficult time. Anything doesn’t appear to be easy, but stay committed to the vows in marriages, and promises in relationships.

Don’t be surprised if the ‘gushing’ love that you have for someone changes to less gushing but maybe much more mature. “Human love and sexuality are wonderful, and blessed by God — but also the shadows of the cross. That’s what Valentine means to us.


When did Valentine’s day start?

For around 3 centuries from the death of Valentine, Roman Empire remained strong with Pagan rites. In the 5th century, when Roman empire collapsed and Pagan rites were challenged — Churches also Christianized the festival of Lupercalia.

Churches opposed the idea nudity, sacrificing innocent animals and replaced Lupercalia with  the “Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. And, thus started a festival associated with love — Valentine’s day.

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