The Truth Behind Valentine’s Day


Graphic by Colin Alfonso

Valerie Questell, Clubs Editor

   In the year AD 496, Valentine’s Day became a global roman tradition and festival in the name of Saint Valentine of the 3rd century–but until the 1300s–the holiday became associated with love. As some may believe, Saint Valentine’s Day has become a significant time of embracing love from cultures, religions, and people. Valentine’s Day is not only about gift-giving, chocolate, and love in the air. Concepts such as Cupid and gift-giving have their own distinctive histories.  

   Roman Emperor Claudius II brutally executed Saint Valentine for doing what he loved as a priest. Valentine was executed or “martyred” because of his religious beliefs, historians believe that Valentine was a Roman and Christians were behind the martyred. Emperor Claudius witnessed Valentine performing marriages for young people, therefore it wasn’t very long until Valentine was put to death. But soon, (nearly 900 years later) people began to celebrate February 14 every year. The Feast of Saint Valentine has been celebrated ever since the 14th century.

   In past times, he was associated with Greek Mythology and a Greek counterpart by the name of Eros. His name meaning “Love” in Latin. His parents: Aphrodite, the goddess of love; and Ares, the god of war. But now, he is associated with matchmaking and bowen arrows with hearts at each end. As many may know, he is Cupid. When Cupid’s bowen arrow strikes or pierces someone, that person falls in love with whoever the arrow pierces. His mother took advantage of that power and struck Psyche, a woman who she was jealous of. Cupid’s mother believed that the struck of the arrow could be paired with a monster, but Cupid suddenly fell in love with Psyche and ended up using the paired arrow on himself. Cupid ended up having a punishment for the rest of his life and Psyche could never see his face ever again. History remains unverified, but according to researchers, Cupid also had superhuman strength!

   He is now known as Saint Valentine, and his day is now known as Valentine’s Day. This event is now celebrated throughout the world and even turned into festivals. From restaurants with set Valentine’s Day mencus, to festivals around the globe that last days and days with concerts and food. Hardly anyone truly understands the history of Valentine’s Day and the Saint Valentine’s Day Feast. Many people associate Valentine’s Day with gift-giving and elementary school candy boxes, instead of the real tragedy that took place nearly 900 years ago.