The History of Valentines in Culture and Religion

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Happy Valentine’s Day.

Long before Valentine’s Day becomes a day for lovers, its many variations of historical origin depict sacrifice for passion and romance, both in cultural and religious aspects. Tracing back from our history, Valentine's Day was birthed from Christian roots but is said to have Pagan origins as well.

  • In Christianity, Valentine’s Day was said to have originated from a Christian priest named Valentinus who performed secret marriages for young couples who wished to get married, even if it was against the family’s will. His name graces this special day to commend his sacrifice. The Feast of St. Valentine was celebrated in Christianity until the Roman Catholic Church removed it from the Calendar of Saints in 1969.
  • Some also claim that Valentine’s Day is rooted in Paganism. The Romans celebrate an annual festival called Lupercalio every February 13-15 where men would strip naked and strike women with goat skin to increase their fertility.
  • The most commonly known story is how Valentine’s Day came from Greek and Roman Mythology. The young Roman god Cupid (who was Eros in Greek) shoots people with his gold-tipped arrow to make the target fall in love with whoever was near.

Despite the many variations, Valentine’s Day has evolved into a day beyond romantic love today. It could be a celebration of anything with anyone you love and cherish, making it more precious.