Skip to main content

History of Saint Valentine's Day: Facts, Legend, and Celebration

Archana Das is a research enthusiast. She likes to write about Indian culture, tradition, epics and food.

Cupid, the lord of love

Cupid, the lord of love

Valentine's Day is celebrated every year on February 14 by lovers and couples. It is established as a Western Christian feast day in order to honor martyrs named, Saint Valentine. It celebrates love and romance in many regions in the entire world.

February 14 is connected with numerous martyrdom stories, including Valentine’s. The heart-rending account of the imprisonment of Saint Valentine of Rome. In the third century, he was persecuted under the Roman Empire. Saint Valentine once restored the sight of the daughter of his jailer while he was captured. In later years, this story was linked with love: an 18th-century legend claimed he wrote a letter to the daughter of the jailer and signed 'Your Valentine' before his execution.

The Legend of Valentine

The Catholic Church says, there were three different saints named Valentine or Valentine, who were martyred. One of them was a priest during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II came into rule, he decided that single men should join the army. They could become better soldiers than those with wives and children. He then outlawed marriage for young men. Due to this injustice, Valentine defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When the Emperor discovered, he ordered to be put to death. However, all three were beheaded by Claudius II.


Surprising Facts About Saint Valentine

Saints were expected to be busy in the afterlife. Their holy duties were considered pure. Interceding in earthly affairs and entertaining petitions from living souls to live together in this world as a couple. In this respect, St. Valentinus had spiritual responsibilities to fulfill. The Roman people called on him to watch over the young people so that the lovers could be together. However, except for this duty, he used to do beekeeping and epilepsy, the plague, fainting, and traveling.

Valentine Skull in Rome

If you desire to know more about Saint, then you should visit Rome. It is the place where you can find the flower-adorned skull of St. Valentine on display in the Basilica of Santa Maria, Cosmedin. In the early 1800s, the excavation of a catacomb near Rome yielded skeletal remains, which are now associated with him. As customary, the pieces of the late Saint body have been distributed in the world. You can witness St. Skeleton on display if you visit the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England, and France.

Scroll to Continue

Modern Valentine Day Celebration with Rose, Heart-Shape Chocolate, and Greeting Cards

According to legends, Valentine was a Roman priest. He was affiliated with the love-focused holiday, performed weddings for soldiers forbidden to marry because the Roman emperor outlawed them. Saint used to wear a ring with a Cupid on it—a symbol of love—this helped soldiers recognize him. And in a precursor to greeting cards, Saint used to hand out paper hearts. This reminds them and Christians of their love for God.

Because of this legend, he became the patron saint of love. From this day, love is celebrated every year by gifting red roses, chocolates, and heart-shaped greeting cards.

Who is Cupid?

Cupid is famously portrayed on Valentine Day cards as a naked cherub launching arrows of love at unsuspecting lovers so that they fall in love. You can find a naked kid with the bow and arrow shooting at unsuspecting lovers. However, if you want to find cupid roots, then you should read Greek mythology.

In mythology, he is depicted as the Lord of love, Eros. He is the son of Nyx and Erebus. His other names are Aphrodite and Ares, Iris and Zephyrus, or even Aphrodite and Zeus (who is his father and grandfather).

According to the Greek Archaic poets, Eros was a handsome immoral god. He loved to play with the emotions of Gods and men until the Hellenistic period. He then began to be portrayed as the mischievous, chubby child.


Valentine and Red Roses

There is nothing that can explain your love for your lover other than red roses. It symbolizes beauty, respect, courage, romance, and even congratulations. Red roses are selected by lovers and couples to celebrate Valentine because it depicts true love, purity, reverence, innocence, youthfulness, and charm.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Archana Das

Related Articles