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The Origin and Meaning of Valentine’s Day and how it was Replaced with Sex.

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Valentine’s Day falls on February 14 each year. Candy, flowers, and presents are given and received among loved ones all around the United States and in other countries on Valentine’s Day.

But who is this enigmatic saint, and where did these customs originate? Discover the origins and significance of Valentine’s Day, from the spring-welcoming Lupercalia ceremony of the Romans to Victorian England’s card-giving traditions.

People say that Saint Valentine, who some people say was really two different people, healed a child while he was in jail and about to be killed.

People say that Saint Valentine, who some people say was really two different people, healed a child while he was in jail and about to be killed.

What’s the origin of Valentine’s Day?

The origins of the festival and the life of its patron saint are obscure. We do know that Valentine’s Day has its roots in both Christian and ancient Roman culture, and that February has long been regarded as the month of love. However, who was Saint Valentine, and how did he come to be connected to this traditional ritual?

Valentine's Day
Greeting With Holidays. Smiling black man covering his woman eyes and giving her bunch of red roses, making surprise to beautiful lady. African american couple celebrating together at home or cafe.


At least three martyrs with the names Valentine or Valentinus are revered by the Catholic Church. According to one narrative, Valentine was a priest who served in Rome in the third century.

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Emperor Claudius II forbade young men from getting married because he believed that single men were better soldiers than those with wives and kids. Realizing the unfairness of the law, Valentine disobeyed Claudius and proceeded to secretly marry two young lovers.

When Valentine’s deeds were revealed, Claudius gave the order to have him executed. Others claim that the holiday’s name comes from the bishop Saint Valentine of Terni.Outside of Rome, Claudius II also beheaded him.

According to some legends, Valentine may have been murdered for trying to aid Christians in escaping the brutal Roman jails, where they were frequently beaten and tormented.

One story claims that a prisoner named Valentine, who fell in love with a young girl who visited him while he was incarcerated and may have been his jailor’s daughter, sent the first “valentine” message himself. It is claimed that before passing away, he sent her a letter addressed to “Your Valentine,” a phrase that is still in use today.

Despite the ambiguity surrounding the legends surrounding Valentine, they all highlight his attractiveness as a compassionate, valiant, and—most importantly—romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, Valentine would rank among the most well-liked saints in England and France—possibly as a result of this reputation.

The history of Valentine’s Day

Festival of the Pagans in February
While some think that Valentine’s Day is observed in the middle of February to mark the anniversary of Valentine’s passing or burial, which most likely took place around the year 270, others assert that the Christian church may have chosen to do so in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan festival of Lupercalia.

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Valentine's Day

Lupercalia was a fertility festival that was held on February 15, or the ides of February. It honored the Roman founding fathers Romulus and Remus as well as Faunus, the god of agriculture.

The Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would assemble at a holy cave where it was said that a she-wolf, or lupa, cared for the newborns Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, to kick off the celebration. For fertility and cleansing, the priests would sacrifice a goat and a dog, respectively.

The goat’s skin would then be torn into strips, dipped in the blood sacrifice, and carried through the streets to be gently slapped against both ladies and crop fields. The Roman women were supposed to become more fertile the next year, therefore, they were not at all afraid when the hides were touched.

Legend has it that all the city’s young women would place their names in a large urn later in the day. Each bachelor in the city would select a name and be partnered for the year with his preferred woman. Most of these encounters resulted in marriage.

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Meaning of Valentine’s Day: A Day of Romance and Love

Although Lupercalia survived the early growth of Christianity, it was forbidden at the end of the 5th century when Pope Gelasius proclaimed February 14 St. Valentine’s Day because it was seen to be “un-Christian.” But it wasn’t until later that the day was unmistakably linked to love.

The concept that Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance in the middle of February was strengthened throughout the Middle Ages by the widespread belief in France and England that February 14 marked the start of the bird breeding season.

In his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules,” the English author Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to refer to St. Valentine’s Day as a day of love celebration. “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day, when every foul cometh there to pick his spouse,” he wrote.

Although written Valentines did not first emerge until about 1400, Valentine greetings have been popular since the Middle Ages. Charles, Duke of Orleans, who had been captured at the Battle of Agincourt, composed a sonnet to his wife when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415, making it the earliest recorded Valentine still in existence today.

(The greeting is currently a part of the British Library’s manuscript collection in London, England.) Many years later, it’s said that King Henry V commissioned John Lydgate, a writer, to write Catherine of Valois a Valentine’s card.

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