What are the origins of Valentine's Day which is celebrated on February 14?


Centuries before Christ, the ancient Romans celebrated the evenings of February 14th and February 15th as an idolatrous and sensual festival in honor of Lupercus, the “hunter of wolves.” The Romans called the festival “Lupercalia.” In her book, “Customs and Holidays Around the World,” Lavinia Dobler states on page 172: “It was not until the reign of Pope Gelasius that the holiday became a ‘Christian custom.’ As far back as 496, Pope Gelasius changed Lupercalia on February 15th to St Valentine’s Day on February 14th.”

The Encyclopedia Britannica states on page 336 in its 15th edition, volume 10:

“St Valentine’s day as a lovers’ festival and the modern tradition of sending valentine cards have no relation to the saints but, rather, seem to be connected either with the Roman (sexual) fertility festival of the Lupercalia (February 15th) or with the mating season of birds.”

The Encyclopedia Americana states that “this pairing off was, of course, linked with sexual immorality.”

An article from the Internet (http://www.techdirect.com/valentine/origin.html) gives several descriptions of the origin of Valentine’s Day, including the following:

“The first interpretation has this celebration originating as a pagan tradition in the third century. During this time hordes of hungry wolves roamed outside of Rome where shepherds kept their flocks. The God Lupercus was said to watch over the shepherds and their flocks and keep them from the wolves. Every February the Romans celebrated a feast called Lupercalia to honor Lupercus so that no harm would come to the shepherds and their flocks. Also during Lupercalia, but in honor of the goddess Juno Februata, the names of young women were put into a box and names were drawn by lot. The boys and girls who were matched would be considered partners for the year, which began in March. This celebration continued long after wolves were a problem to Rome… As Christianity became prevalent, priests attempted to replace [or better: sugarcoat and cover with a Christian mantle] old heathen practices. To Christianize the ancient pagan celebration of the Feast of Lubercus, the church officials changed the name to St. Valentine’s Day.”

In his book, “Christianity–the Origins of a Pagan Religion,” French scholar and professor of medieval French literature, Philippe Walter, states the following on pages 76-78:

“.. the [Catholic] church invented the figures of saints–both men and women–who both borrowed the names of their pagan predecessors and possessed mythical attributes similar to those of their pagan models. This is why we cannot be surprised at worship devoted today to certain mysterious saints–including Saint Valentine. In fact, along with the time of year of his celebration, the initial syllable of his name–val–compels us to establish a potential link with the mythology of Carnival… It is curious that February 14 is celebrated in five regions to commemorate no fewer than five distinct saints all bearing the name Valentine… This phenomenon points to the camouflaging of paganism–most specifically, the rites and myths commemorated on this date in the pagan calendar–in several regions [namely, Rome, Italy; Terni, Italy; Toro, Spain; Puy; and Africa]…”

Alexander Hislop explained in his book, “Two Babylons,” that Valentine was a common Roman name. Roman parents often gave the name to their children in honor of the famous man who was first called Valentine in antiquity. That famous man was Lupercus, the hunter. Who was Lupercus? Why should he also have borne the name “Valentine” among the heathen Romans? The Greeks called Lupercus by the name of “Pan.” The Semites called Pan “Baal”–mentioned so often in the Bible–and this name was merely another name for Nimrod, the “mighty hunter” (Genesis 10:9). The hunter Nimrod was the Lupercus–or wolf hunter–of the Romans. “St Valentine’s Day” was originally a day set aside by the pagans in his honor.

Nimrod–Baal or sun god of the ancient pagans–was said to have been born at the winter solstice. In ancient times the solstice occurred on January 6th and his birthday therefore was celebrated on January 6th. Later, as the solstice changed, it was celebrated on December 25th and is now called Xmas. It was the custom of antiquity for the mother of a male child to present herself for purification on the 40th day after the day of birth. The 40th day after January 6th–Nimrod’s original birthdate–takes us to February 15th, the celebration of which began on February 14th–the Lupercalia or St Valentine’s Day. On this day in February, Semiramis, the mother of Nimrod, was said to have been purified and to have appeared for the first time in public with her son as the original “mother and child.”

Valentine’s Day is one of those pagan days that has become part and parcel of the fabric of today’s society. It is clear that Valentine’s Day–whichever way you look at it–has paganism written all over it. Paganism is not to be entertained by the people of God. God commands us not to worship Him in the way that the pagans worshipped their gods. Therefore, we are not to participate in the celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Lead Writers: Brian Gale and Norbert Link

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