Updated: May 23
Valentine’s day, it’s the day when hopeless romantics and lovers send cards, chocolate, and roses to the one they desire. Many see this holiday as fun and innocent, after all, school children across the earth will be sending little cute cards and hard candy that say, “Be mine.” For those who grow up in the Catholic Church, it is a day to remember Saint Valentine, who was killed for converting people to Christianity. But these are not the true meanings of the holiday, in fact as we will see, Valentine’s day is rooted in paganism.
Lupercalia and Valentines Day
Before it was known as Valentines it was celebrated by the Romans under the festival of Juno Fructifier and the Feast of Lupercalia. On February 14th during a festival to honor Roman goddess Juno Fructifier (The queen of the Roman pantheon), women would put their names into a box and men would draw a name at random. After this, the two would pair off for the coming Feast of Lupercalia, though sometimes these sexual flings lasted longer and ended with the two getting married. Below is a quote from Alberta Franklin’s book “The Lupercalia”, which depicts the rites performed during the Feast of Lupercalia.
“For goats are slain, then two boys of noble rank are led up to the victim, and a sword which has been dipped into blood is pressed upon their foreheads, after which the blood is immediately wiped off with a bit of wool moistened in milk. The blood having been removed, the lads must laugh. After this [the Luperci] cut the hides of the goats into strips and, naked except for a girdle, they run about [the Palatine], striking with the thongs everyone whom they meet. The young women do not shun the blows, since they believe that they will avail for the conception and the easy delivery of children.” (The Lupercalia – Alberta Mildred Franklin pg. 16)
It is quite evident that during this time sexual immorality was rampant, these festivals were about fertility after all. During this holiday the giving of red roses can be seen as trying to garner the favor of the Roman goddess of love Venus, whose favorite flower is the red rose. Even Cupid, who looks innocent enough, is the Roman god of desire, affection, and love. Look around as Valentine’s Day nears, the pagan god Cupid will be on full display. Something interesting I stumbled upon while researching, is that in some sects of witchcraft, anonymously giving cards of affection is linked to love magic.
The Issue with ‘Christianizing’ Pagan Ways
So, where did the idea of this being a Christian holiday come from? Well just like Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, it was “Christianized” by the Catholic Church.
“At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day.” (https://www.britannica.com/topic/Valentines-Day)
As I stated in “Pagan Holidays, Christmas” we do not have the power or right to Christianize pagan festivals or practices. If you haven’t read that post or “The Mo’edim”, I highly recommend you do, for our Father YHWH has set apart days for us to follow. Elohim makes it very clear that he does not want us to do as the pagans or gentiles (Read “Grafted In” to learn how once you accept Yeshua, you become part of Israel. No longer a gentile).
“Thus said יהוה, “Do not learn the way of the nations…” (Jeremiah 10:2)
“Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl (Israel), and say to them, ‘I am יהוה your Elohim. ‘Do not do as they do in the land of Mitsrayim (Egypt), where you dwelt. And do not do as they do in the land of Kena‛an (Canaan), where I am bringing you, and do not walk in their laws. ‘Do My right-rulings and guard My laws, to walk in them. I am יהוה your Elohim.” (Leviticus 18:2-4)
YHWH tells our ancestors when He brings them out of Egypt not to do as the Egyptians, or as the Canaanites in the land of Canaan. So, why would we think it any different when it comes to Roman practices? If our forefathers couldn’t rectify the pagan ways of Egypt or Canaan, then neither can we, regardless of what the Catholic Church states.
Worship of the Saints
I was looking on their website to see what information they had on Valentine’s day and found this at the bottom of the page.
“St. Valentine is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travelers, and young people. He is represented in pictures with birds and roses and his feast day is celebrated on February 14.” (httphttps://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=159s://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=159)
The way they describe St. Valentine, how he is the saint of couples, love, and marriages. Sounds an awful lot like how pagan gods are described as being over some aspect of life. For example, Aphrodite (Greek goddess) is said to be over love, fertility, and marriage. Not only that but the Catholic Church advocates praying to dead saints, here is one version of a payer to St. Valentine.
“Oh glorious protector Saint Valentine, Defender of marriage and true believers, Defiler of pagans and idols, I offer this prayer to you. Help me in my marriage and in my daily battle to keep my faith, Help me to defy doubts and forget my fears, Help me devote my life to the Lord as you devoted yours. Saint Valentine, I ask you to bless me in my time of need. I will devote the 14th of February to you and hold your name in my heart. Please help me see the truth and the way and the light. Just as you fought for the young people who needed your guidance, draw your sword for me, carve a path for me. Forgive me for the sin of temptation and help me to leave temptation behind.” (A version of a prayer to St. Valentine)
We have one mediator, Yeshua the Messiah.
“For there is one Elohim, and one Mediator between Elohim and men, the Man Messiah יהושע. (1 Timothy 2:5)
We should not be praying to various saints that are patrons of a certain aspect of life, like the pagans of old did to their chosen pantheon. Don’t let the doctrines of men lead you astray, the Catholic Church and mainstream Christianity are polluted with such nonsense. Do your due diligence and read your Bible for yourself, ask YHWH to show you the truth, and leave out any preconceived notions. Your Bible starts in Genesis not Matthew and all of it is applicable for your life.
I hope this post helped shed some light on the pagan origins of Valentine’s Day. As always, I ask you do your own research, it’s actually quite fun! Down below is a link to a free e-book “The Lupercalia” by Alberta Mildred Franklin and a YouTube video that compliments this post nicely. I pray the Rauch Hakodesh guides you into all truth.
I wrote a novel for those who guard the commands of Elohim and have the testimony of Yeshua. If you have ever searched for such a fictional novel or book, you may have noticed that there is scant material when compared to other religious fantasy works. I truly feel that YHWH was supplying me the story to tell, and did my best to convey that in written form. If you are interested in checking it out you can pick up a copy here!