Feb.14 was not originally intended for romance
The true history of Valentine’s Day is somewhat of a mystery. No one really knows for sure who St. Valentine was or why we celebrate him every Feb. 14. Speculations have risen that it was a holiday simply made from Hallmark. We asked students to enlighten us with their ideas.
Rachael Carter, a senior Spanish major said, “(St. Valentine) killed sluts and whores for the church and they loved him for this so they made him a Saint. But then he found out his true love was a whore and he had to kill her.”
Matt Shirazi, a senior psychology major said, “He was the patron Saint of prostitutes and his amorous ways lead to our celebrations of today.”
Lynn Berry, a junior sociology and psychology major, said, “He was a lonely guy but one day he fell madly in love with a girl. Then she died, but before she died she had their baby and that was Cupid. So he was inspired by his first love and he wanted to spread (love) all over the world. Now, (Feb. 14) is Cupid’s birthday.”
Jeff Dye, a junior history major, said, “(Valentine’s Day) is a holiday created by Hallmark. (St. Valentine) is a fictional character (that we celebrate) to increase revenue between Easter and Christmas. It’s a girl’s excuse to get more free things from guys.”
Avi Chandra, a senior chemistry major, said, “St. Valentine was kind of like the Mendel of love. He performed love experiments and saw the outcomes. He recorded these and kept a clear record (of the outcomes). So transcribing monks started taking girls out on Feb. 14.”
According to History.com, there are several theories in circulation today regarding who St. Valentine really was and why we celebrate him. One of the more popular theories claims that St. Valentine was a priest who defied the Roman Emperor Claudius II when he outlawed marriage. The Emperor felt that men made better soldiers if they did not have wives and families to worry about back home. St. Valentine continued to perform marriage ceremonies, however, believing that Claudius’ ban was an injustice to the Roman people. In return, Emperor Claudius II ordered St. Valentine to be put to death.
Another legend claims that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February, not to commemorate the death of St. Valentine, but instead as the recognition of the ancient pagan Lupercalla festival. Romans believed February to be the beginning of spring and a month of purification. Lupercalla was a festival of fertility and the Romans tried to “Christianize” it by combining the fertility and purification aspects into one ritual. An order of Roman priests would sacrifice a dog for purification and a goat for fertility. Women would then touch the sliced hides of the goat in hopes of becoming more fertile in the coming year. Then they placed their names in a large urn and all of the bachelors in the city would pick out names and be paired with that woman for the rest of the year. Since these matches often resulted in marriage, Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day in 498 A.D.
These are only a few legends according to History.com. To find out more go to History.com .
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Ashley Herzberger at Ashley.Herzberger@thecampuspress.com.