How Valentine’s Day Began: 5 Facts You Should Know


People usually ask what the history of Valentine’s day is, and what are the various thoughts of people that make the day special.

February 14 is celebrated all around the world and online with a buzz of excitement and lots of expectations and events along with other things geared towards the celebration.

Valentine’s Day is significantly a day love is seen radiating around people. It has become a fairly commercialized unofficial holiday due to the exchange of gifts amongst friends, family members, couples, lovers and not to forget those in need, who by some way or the other, are not left out of the celebration of Love.

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On Valentine’s Day, many people exchange cards, roses, and other gifts items with that special ‘Valentine’, but only a few people know exactly where and how the day of love originated. Why do we always mark this date on our calendars? Why must we not forget to show our loved ones how much we love them?

Here are a few facts about the history of Valentine’s day.

5 Facts About The History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is attributed to the Catholic Church with the origin being traced to as far back as the 5th century. There has been three different saints named Valentine recognised by the Catholic Church, all of whom were martyred.

1. The First Valentine was said to be a priest who served during the third century in Rome. He was fondly called Valentine of Rome.

According to the history of Valentine’s Day, when Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and children, he made a law that forbids marriages for young men. Valentine, realising the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When his actions were discovered, Claudius killed him.

Valentine was canonized by Pope Galesius in 496 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. The flower-crowned skull of Saint Valentine is exhibited in the Basilica of Saint Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. Other relics are found at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.

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2. The Second Valentine was the bishop of Terni. He was said to have been martyred during the persecution under Emperor Aurelian in 273. He was buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location from Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni.

3. The Third Valentine according to the Catholic Encyclopedia was said to have a direct connection to February 14. He was said to have been martyred in Africa with a number of companions, but nothing more was known about him. His head was preserved in the abbey of New Minster, Winchester and venerated.

Amongst the Valentines, one significant attribute they all shared was they were all sympathetic, heroic and romantic.

4. How Did This Day (February 14) Come About?

At the end of 5th Century, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. According to history, the day was chosen as a means to Christianize the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a fertility festivity that usually comes up between 13 – 15 February dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

During the festival, all the women in the city would place their names in a big jar. The bachelors would choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often end in marriage.

Towards the end of the 5th century, the Lupercalia was disallowed and abolished by Pope Gelasius. The world has since that time accepted and celebrated St Valentine’s Day on February 14.

5. Connection With Romantic Love?

According to the history of Valentine’s Day, during the middle ages, there was a common belief in England and France that February 14 was the beginning of the birds mating season. This helped build the idea that every Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance hence the tendency to celebrate this day in a romantic way.

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Valentine greetings and messages were also popular as far back as 1415, when Charles, Duke of Orleans, wrote a poem to his wife while he was imprisoned in the tower of London following his capture at the battle of Agnicut.

The greeting has become part of the manuscript collection at the British Library in London, England. Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine message for Catherine of Valois who was the queen of England from 1420 until 1422.

The Valentine season is for sharing love not just with the people you love but also with the people who need love. It can be an average day which could lead to the start of a bond that will last forever.

Therefore, share love, show love, preach love and be loved.