February 14th is Valentine’s Day, the feast day of St. Valentine. Ironically, happy hearts day history is about Christian persecution of 3 martyr Valentines.
Valentine and his secret marriages
During the 3rd century, Rome was at war among tribes. Emperor Claudius II thought his army weakened due to Roman men’s devotion to their wives and families.👨👩👧👦 Seeing that as a problem, he proclaimed the banning of marriages as well as engagements. (1)
Valentine, at that time, was a bishop who was one of those who opposed the unjust decree. So in defiance, the devout Catholic secretly united loving couples 💑 in holy matrimony until it was discovered. The cruel emperor then ordered his arrest and the priest was beaten with clubs. It was believed he was beheaded on February 14th around 270 A.D. (1)
While Bishop Valentine was waiting for his execution, he healed then became close (or may have fell in love) with his jailer’s blind daughter. Prior to his execution, the future saint wrote a farewell message 💔 to his “girl” or friend with a complimentary close saying: From your Valentine. (2)
The three St. Valentines
According to Catholic faith, there are three different St. Valentines with the very same feast day of February 14th. (3)
- The Roman priest-physician Valentine who comforted martyrs and was put to death under Emperor Claudius II’s order (above story)
- The Bishop of Interamna, now Terni in Rome, who also suffered under the same cruel emperor, was arrested and beheaded
- A less popular martyr in Africa was also called Valentine
Valentine’s Day vs. Lupercalia
In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius made February 14th as St. Valentine’s Day.💝 It is also believed that this date was chosen by Christians to suppress the pagan fertility festival called Feast of Lupercalia, which was celebrated from February 13th to 15th. (4)
My ideal Valentine’s Day is spending it with someone you are in love with and for that someone to make you feel loved and appreciated.Candice Swanepoel
(1) St. Valentine beheaded. (2018, August 21). In History.com. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/st-valentine-beheaded.
(2) Breadnbeyond. (2013, February 8). The History of St. Valentine’s Day [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGx7q4O6w2w.
(3) Saunders, William. (n.d.). History of St. Valentine: Who was Saint Valentine and how did he come to inspire Valentine’s Day? Retrieved February 9, 2018 from https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/history-of-st-valentine.html.
(4) WatchMojo.com. (2013, February 11). The History of Valentine’s Day [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YguF1pcBWYI.