Although Valentine’s Day is not thought to be a religious holiday… (and can be celebrated and respected by anyone that is not currently scorned by love) it was in fact named after the Catholic priest, St. Valentine.
Unsure of what the true story is, there are a few interpretations of how St. Valentine came to represent such a beloved holiday (pun intended):
- One rumor states that St. Valentine helped tortured Christian citizens escape from Roman prisons.
- He was also said to have performed private marriage ceremonies to young couples during a time when Emperor Claudius II banned young men from marrying due to the need for more soldiers in the Roman army.
- Interestingly enough, it is thought that Valentine’s Day takes place in February because it was either: when St. Valentine died… or… to Christianize the Lupercalia festival (which took place to celebrate spring and to give men the chance to draw a name from an urn and ultimately marry the woman whose name he pulled). This ritual was not thought to be very “Christian”, so “Valentine’s Day” was named after him to “Christianize” the festival.