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History of Valentines Day

On February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” The day of romance called Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15. Pope Gelasius I recast this pagan festival as a Christian feast day circa 496, declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine's Day.

Probably the most plausible story surrounding St. Valentine is one not focused on passionate love but Christian love, he was martyred for refusing to renounce his religion. In 1969, the Catholic Church revised its liturgical calendar, removing the feast days of saints whose historical origins were questionable. St. Valentine was one of the casualties.