The History of Valentine’s Day


Mikaia Jones

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is the day when everybody gets together to show their love for their family, friends, and other loved ones. However, many don’t know about the history of Valentine’s Day and how it came to be. 

There are many stories about who Saint Valentine is and why he had such an impact. All of the legends about Saint Valentine say he was alive between the 1st and 4th centuries, probably during the reign of Emperor Claudius II of Rome.  

In one legend, Emperor Claudius believed that single, young men made better warriors than married men with families, so he outlawed the marriage of young men. Saint Valentine was believed to be a priest who married young, in-love couples secretly and was later executed. Valentine was also known to help persecuted Christians escape from Roman prisons.  

Legend also says that Valentine was imprisoned and fell in love with a young woman, most likely his jailor’s daughter, and sent the woman the first “valentine” signed “From your Valentine.”  

Valentine’s Day itself came from the Pagan holiday Lupercalia, celebrated first by the ancient Romans. Lupercalia survived the rise of Christianity but was later named “un-Christian” early in the 5th century. Pope Gelasius named February 14th Saint Valentine’s Day, but it wasn’t until the 14th century that the day became associated with love.  

“Valentines” have been written since the beginning of the 5th century; however, they weren’t called Valentines until after the 14th century with the initiation of Valentine’s Day. 

Valentine’s Day is celebrated in 8 different countries: the United States of America, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Argentina, France, Mexico, and South Korea.  

There is also a history of Cupid, an angel that helps people fall in love. Cupid originated from Eros, the god of love. Eros is the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, and Ares, the god of war.  

In Roman mythology, Cupid is the god of love and the son of Venus, the goddess of love. Since Valentine’s Day was adopted from a Roman Holiday, keeping the Roman god of love is not out of the usual. The changing of Cupid from a god to an angel happened because Christianity only has one God but many angels.   

Cupid became associated with the day because of the transition from Roman Lupercalia to Christian Valentine’s Day. Cupid was one of the original elements of Lupercalia to survive the transition to Christianity.  

Valentine’s is the day when we show our love and appreciation for so many of our loved ones. This celebration has been happening for centuries and will continue to happen as long as the love we have for each other is still there.