Across much of the world on the 14th February Valentine’s Day is celebrated, but where did the tradition come from and how did it become such a staple part of our calendar? Along with many festivals celebrated in Britain, St Valentine’s Day appears to have some basis in paganism and it is believed that the celebration of love and relationships that we see today were inspired by Lupercalia, a fertility festival celebrated by the pagans. Apparently, the festival took place every year from 13th – 15th February. Chaucer wrote a poem in 1382 to celebrate the engagement of Richard II to Anne of Bohemia and it was his mention of St Valentine’s Day and the association with romantic love within the poem that formed the basis of the day we now know.
Although there were several martyrs in the early Christian church named Valentine, only two of them are commemorated on February 14. The two saints are Valentine of Terni and Valentine of Rome. Valentine of Terni was martyred in 213 and Valentine of Rome was martyred in 269. Both of them were added to the calendar of saints in 496 by Pope Gelasius.
Hope that you all have a lovely day wherever you are.