The TRUE History Of Valentine's Day
Start writing a post

It's that time of year again. Valentine's Day has arrived and love is in the air. Cards will be exchanged, sugary sweets will be given and consumed, and hearts will flutter. But haven't you ever wondered where exactly Valentine's Day comes from? Why do we celebrate it on February 14th? Who even was St. Valentine? Read on, and discover the true history of Valentine's Day.

It's been difficult for historians to exactly pinpoint the holiday's origin, but many believe that it can traced back to the Roman Empire and their festival of Lupercalia. This was a time when Romans would honor a triumvirate of figures in mid-February; Faunus (the god of fertility and agriculture), and Romulus and Remus, who were said to be the original founders of Rome. But once Christianity overtook Rome several hundred years later, it is said that that Pope Galasius I recast it as a feast to honor St. Valentine on February 14th circa 496 A.D.

So that takes care of the date, but what of the man himself? Well, according to legend, there were actually three men by the name of Saint Valentine (coincidentally, they were all martyred on February 14th). One legend asserts that the origin of his celebration starts with Emperor Claudius II around 270 A.D. Claudius allegedly outlawed marriage for young men, thinking that bachelors made better soldiers for his army. One of our Valentines, a Roman Christian priest, vehemently disagreed with this and continued to perform marriage ceremonies in secret. Unfortunately for him, he was soon found out and put to death.

Another legend tells us a different story. The same Valentine was jailed for reasons that are not entirely explained. But very quickly after his imprisonment, he fell in love with the jailer's daughter, who would come to visit him often. Before his execution, he sent a letter of his love to the girl and signed it "From your Valentine", giving us a possible origin for the expression. Perhaps the two are separate halves to the same story?

Saint Valentine and the day associated with him remained popular for many, many years, even being one of the most popular saints in England and France during the Middle Ages. By the 1900s it was common in much of the Western world to celebrate Valentine's Day is some form or fashion, and today essentially every country has some form of the holiday (South Korea actually has three separate "versions" of Valentine's Day). The fact that one quarter of all greeting cards are bought specifically for Valentine's day, second only to Christmas, is testament enough to its resilience. And it doesn't look like it's going anywhere anytime soon.

So whether you're going to take some time out to spend an evening with that special someone, gathering your courage to ask out the looker from across the class, or are proud representative of Single's Awareness Day, there's only one thing left to say...

All credit goes to and

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments