Unless you are living underneath a rock or don’t live in one of the countries that celebrate Valentine’s Day I am sure you are 100 % aware of what Valentine’s Day is about. Just in case…Valentine’s Day is a day where it is traditional to show your significant other how much you love and care from them by sharing a small token of your affection on February 14th. Traditional gifts are usually candy, flowers, and/ or
a love note/ romantic card. Some people can’t wait to celebrate while others cringe at the thought of celebrating such a “commercialized” holiday where many companies profit off of the emotions of others. My personal thoughts immediately went to the religious aspect and to dig deeper into the facts behind the celebration of this “love giving” and “love getting” holiday.
Here are 10 things about V day you may or may not know:
1. Valentine’s Day was based both on Christian and Catholic traditions (non-biblical). The Catholic Church recognizes at least three saints named Valentius, all of whom where martyred for helping Christians.
2. Valentine was believed to defy the rules made up by Emperor Claudis II, which outlawed marriage because he felt like single young men made better soldiers than married ones with families.
3. One St. Valentine was a Roman priest who performed secret wedding ceremonies against the authorities in the 13th century.
4. The same St. Valentine was caught and imprisoned where he healed the daughter of the captor from blindness renewing faith in Christianity.
5. St. Valentine was tortured and decapitated on February 14th as many others who stood up for religious beliefs.
6. Valentine’s Day becomes associated with love starting in the late Middle Ages thanks to an English poet.
7. Another St. Valentine (Bishop of Terni) was also beheaded on February 14th for healing and preforming secret weddings, which were outlawed at the time.
8. Valentine’s Day was also an effort on the Christian part to do away with a pagan holiday, Lupercalia. This festival was a bloody, violent, and sexually charged celebration that consists of animal sacrifice and matchmaking in the hopes to ward off evil spirits and infertility.
9. In the 5th century, Pope Gelasius deemed Lupercalia (February 15th) as, “un-Christian” and replaced it with Valentine’s Day (February 14th).
10. The oldest known Valentine, which the romance of this holiday didn’t start until around 1400s, was written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife when he was imprisoned in the form of a poem.
Today Valentine’s Day is filled with romantic gestures so it is hard to imagine that this wasn’t always what the holiday stood for. It was actually based on violent barbaric false traditions that Christians tried hard to put a stop too in the name of Jesus. In turn, they were also subjected to harsh imprisonments which in many cases ended in execution. Whether you choose to en-knowledge the commercialized aspect of V day we must not forget the history behind the holiday so we can not repeat the same horrible events and traditions.
If you have another historically accurate fact about Valentine’s Day that most people aren’t aware of please share in the comments. I hope you all had a wonderful, loving Valentine’s Day and weekend with your loved one, family, and friends.