The True Story Behind Valentine’s Day


Sierra Romanski, Writer

Although Valentine’s Day is not as popular as some of the other celebrated holidays, it is still celebrated by thousands, if not millions, of people every year. Unlike certain holidays, such as Christmas or Halloween, not many people know the true story of how Valentine’s Day originally got started.

A survey was conducted of about 55 students. About 76% of people claim that they do not know the story behind Valentine’s Day, while 24% claim that they do know the story. 

A lot of the guesses that students came up with were fairly close to the true story. Most had to do with St. Valentine. “A priest named Valentine created a holiday for women to be married off,” Lillian Barley (‘23) said.

Some of the other guesses were a little more off. “I would like to think that it was created to celebrate a beautiful love story but it was probably for sales,” Elizabeth Alejandro (‘23) said.

There are numerous accounts of the true story behind Valentine’s Day, but the most accepted version starts with a priest named Valentine of Terni in third century Rome. The story goes that Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for younger men because he felt single men performed better in the military, but Valentine felt that it was unjust and continued to perform marriages in secret.

After it was discovered that he was performing these marriages in secret, the Emperor ordered that Valentine be put to death and Valentine was eventually beheaded. 

There are other stories out there as well, such as the true origin of the holiday is actually a Pagan festival called Lupercalia. This was a fertility festival dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture where animals would be sacrificed in hopes that it would cause women to be more fertile.

Whatever the case may be, Valentine’s Day now has become an anticipated holiday for many. It is always enjoyable for those with significant others to show their love for one another, or just for friends and family to just appreciate each other’s presence in their lives.

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