Valentine’s Day Origins

Laine Nowak 19

Valentine’s days has been largely commercialized by the west as a day to celebrate romantic love with presents, but it’s based in a myriad of stories. One story recognizes the priest Valentine as a missionary of love; the priest secretly married many young couples after Roman Emperor Claudius II forbade young men from marrying so they could serve as more focused soldiers. Another story suggests Valentine smuggled prisoners out of harsh Roman jails. Yet another Valentine is said to have been a prisoner himself who fell in love with his jailors daughter. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three Saint Valentines. Which saint christens the holiday with his name is unclear. Most stories recognize a Roman origin, like the connection between Valentine’s Day and the Lupercalia festival in February for the fertility of women and crop lands. Shakespeare romanticized the idea of valentine lovers in his 17th century plays, and his love stories disseminated into the western world. What ever origin story you believe, have a Happy Valentine’s day!