he Origins of Valentines Day
(reprinted from our Feb. 2016 issue)
Happy Lupercalia everyone!
Those of you who know me personally can attest that I am probably one of the least "romantic" people you know. So naturally, on Valentine's Day, rather than caring about romance, I prefer to unpack the tradition in search of its roots in Pagan fertility festivals. There's not much reliable scholarship about Valentine's Day, but the consensus seems to be that it's based on the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia.
Like so many Pagan traditions, it was re-framed as a Christian feast day sometime around the 5th century, and attributed to someone named St. Valentine. Nobody is sure which St. Valentine this was, since there are three with the same name in Catholic history. One account suggests that all three Valentines were martyred on Feb. 14. Ultimately the church did away with Valentine's Day as an official feast because its Pagan origins were too sexual for Catholic comfort. If you'd like to know more,
is an article that you'll enjoy (hint: it involves naked Romans).
Lupercalia blessings to all!
Rev. Terri Daniel, MA, CT
Founder, The Original Afterlife Conference
End-of-Life Advisor, Interfaith Chaplaincy,