A History of Valentines's Day-The St. Mary's Inn Bed & Breakfest (2024)

A History of Valentines's Day-The St. Mary's Inn Bed & Breakfest (1)

The history of Valentine’s Day–and its patron saint–is full of mystery. We do know that February has been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as it is known today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine? How did he become associated with this ancient rite?

The Catholic Church has recognized at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, and all were martyred. One legend says that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Valentine may also have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

A History of Valentines's Day-The St. Mary's Inn Bed & Breakfest (2)

While some people believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which is believed to have occurred around A.D. 270–others believe that the Christian church may have placed St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

A History of Valentines's Day-The St. Mary's Inn Bed & Breakfest (3)

Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.

Americans began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent forChristmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines….. men, what happened?

Choose to stay ata romantic Bed and Breakfastand make up for time lost!

A History of Valentines's Day-The St. Mary's Inn Bed & Breakfest (2024)


What is the history of Valentine's day answer? ›

Valentine's Day did not come to be celebrated as a day of romance until about the 14th century. Although there were several Christian martyrs named Valentine, the day may have taken its name from a priest who was martyred about 270 ce by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus.

What is the history of Valentine's day short summary? ›

The history of Valentine's Day goes back to 3rd century Rome with the execution of a priest named Valentinus known today as St. Valentine. Every February 14th, millions across the globe send their loved ones heart-shaped cards and Valentine's Day chocolates to express their love and affection.

What is the real story behind Valentine's day? ›

Turns out, it was a pretty common name during Late Antiquity. As far as anyone can tell, the Saint Valentine of Valentine's Day was one of two guys preaching the good word in Rome in the third century. One of these two was martyred on February 14th 269, thus giving us the date for his eponymous day.

What church recognizes three types of Valentine saints? ›

The Catholic Church has recognized at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, and all were martyred. One legend says that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome.

What does the Bible say about Valentine's day? ›

In I Corinthians 10:19-21, the apostle Paul compares mixing paganism with Christianity—syncretism—to worshipping demons. This principle includes giving one's time or interest to things of pagan origin. As an example, the Bible neither mentions nor espouses Valentine's Day or its practices.

What is the dark history of Valentine's day? ›

One Valentine was a priest in third-century Rome who defied Emperor Claudius II after the ruler outlawed marriage for young men. St. Valentine would perform marriages in secret for young lovers, ultimately leading to his death.

What is special on 14 February 2024? ›

Happy Valentine's Day 2024: Valentine's Day falls annually on February 14. The celebrations for the day of love begin a week before, starting with Rose Day and ending with Kiss Day.

Should Christians celebrate Valentine's day? ›

If that works for you, do it. But the biblical pattern teaches us that romantic love between husband and wife should be on display often and much. It isn't that celebrating Valentine's Day is too much; it is too little and weak. Christians, live your married years so that you don't need Valentine's Day.

Why is Saint Valentine the saint of love? ›

Valentine, it seems, was a martyr for upholding the importance of love and marriage. "He literally gave his life to achieve this purpose," McKay said. The bones of St. Valentine were sent to Ireland in 1836, a gift from Pope Gregory to a Carmelite priest in Dublin, McKay said.

Who was the real killer in Valentine? ›

Adam Carr/Jeremy Melton. Adam Carr, formerly known as Jeremy Melton, also known as Cupid or The Cherub, is the main antagonist of the 2001 film Valentine, based on the 1996 mystery novel of the same name by Tom Savage.

What is the deeper meaning of Valentine's day? ›

It originated as a Christian feast day honoring a martyr named Valentine, and through later folk traditions it has also become a significant cultural, religious and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world. Valentine's Day. A Valentine's card, c.

Why is it called Valentine's day? ›

Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the third century. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine's Day.

Why was St. Valentine removed from the Catholic Church? ›

Although the Roman Catholic Church continues to recognize St. Valentine as a saint of the church, he was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969 because of the lack of reliable information about him. He is the patron saint of lovers, people with epilepsy, and beekeepers.

Which pope made Valentine a saint? ›

Saint Valentine's Day

Saint Valentine of Rome was martyred on February 14 in AD 269. The Feast of Saint Valentine, also known as Saint Valentine's Day, was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honour of the Christian martyr.

Is Valentine's Day Pagan Catholic? ›

History also records that around A.D. 500 Pope Gelasius established St. Valentine's Day in an attempt to convert this pagan Roman fertility festival into a Christian holiday, thus retaining its attractions and making it easier for pagan people to accept Christianity.

Who was Saint Valentine and what did he do? ›

Saint Valentine was a clergyman – either a priest or a bishop – in the Roman Empire who ministered to persecuted Christians. He was martyred and his body buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14, which has been observed as the Feast of Saint Valentine (Saint Valentine's Day) since at least the eighth century.

What is the purpose of Valentine's day? ›

What is Valentine's Day? St Valentine's Day is an annual festival to celebrate romantic love, friendship and admiration. Every year on 14 February people celebrate this day by sending messages of love and affection to partners, family and friends.

What is the spiritual meaning of Valentine's day? ›

While the holiday has undergone secularization over time, its origins in Christian martyrdom and acts of love align with broader spiritual themes of compassion, selflessness, and devotion. For some, Valentine's Day serves as a reminder of the importance of love in both human relationships and spiritual practice.

What is the pagan origin of Valentine's day? ›

However, many historians believe the day originated from the Roman pagan festival of fertility called Lupercalia, an event filled with animal sacrifice, random coupling and the whipping of women; not quite the romantic chocolate and roses day that we celebrate today.

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