Valentines Presents / January 11, 2019 / Chris Burris
But the main reason behind buying valentines gifts for men and women was in fact a kindly cleric named Valentine who died over a thousand years ago... As history would have it Valentines Day derived from the Roman pagan fertility celebration known as Lupercalia which was held on February 15th. During this ritual a young man would draw the name of a young woman in a lottery and would then keep the woman as a sexual companion for the year to promote fertility and deflect disasters. Then in 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius wanted to add a Christian slant to the pagan celebration a day earlier. He made the conscious decision to pay tribute to a young soldier who lived in Rome who was put to death for his Christian beliefs on February 14th 269 A.D. This young soldier then became dubbed Saint Valentine.
Legend One As one of the legends goes in the 3rd century there lived a priest named Valentine. The Roman Emperor Claudius II was ruling at this time and Valentine like many of the public under Claudius rule disliked him with a passion. Claudius wanted all men to join the army. But because men had wives and families of their own these men werent so keen on signing up. Believing a singleton soldier was a better soldier than a married young man Claudius introduced a callous new law which banned marriage ceremonies. In Claudius opinion this would mean more strong young men would join the army with no wives at his disposal. Valentine the priest thought this new law was outrageous so what did he do? He married couples in secret.
But poor St. Valentine as is usually the case with secret clauses was caught and sentenced to death. Legend Two Another legend claims that Valentine was a prisoner who fell in love with a young woman who came to visit him regularly. Legend has it that this visitor was his jailors daughter. On the day of his death on February 14th 269 A.D. Valentine wrote her a love letter signed with: "Your Valentine." And that ladies and gentlemen is how the phrase "Be my Valentine" came into being and of course why we exchange Valentines Day presents. Legend Three Whats more the pagan Romans had a fertility celebration in the middle of February called Lupercalia. Many folks believed that spring brought the renewal of life in the middle of February therefore a "love lottery" was held.