Valentine’s day can bring surprises from good friends, family, lovers, and even anonymous admirers. Just tell someone you love them on this special day. (Photo:K-J Millar/The Northern View)

From one heart to another

Valentine’s day deadly origins

  • Feb. 14, 2020 11:20 a.m.

Lovers of love and all things romantic take Valentine’s day very seriously. Whether they bestow or receive, chocolate, flowers, cards, love notes, (word for the wise -jewelry’s always good too) it is certainly a day for lovers to celebrate.

Valentine’s day is an eclectic blend of customs and traditions brought through time. No one really knows it’s true origins, however there are a few strong stories to sweep your heart away.

READ MORE: Valentine’s is the biggest day of the year to sell flowers in B.C.

The earliest records of Valentine’s Day stretch back to the 1300’s when several priests had similar monikers, however, the best known one lived in Rome in the third century. This was a time when love was in the dark ages and Christians were forbidden to worship as they liked. The priest named Valentine stood strong in his beliefs and refused to stop preaching Christianity and Christ like love. He was executed on February 14th, for his disobedience. After his death he was proclaimed a saint. That my friends is one theory of where Valentines day stems from. (Long stems on those roses please)

According to another legend, a young priest named Valentine believed in love so much, that he secretly married couples despite Emperor Claudius II proclamation that young men could not marry. Claudius desperately needed an army and believed that men made more dedicated soldiers if they did not have families. This Valentine was eventually imprisoned and beheaded for his disobedience. Many believe Valentine’s day is in remembrance of this young rebel who died for his belief in love.

Another story tells of a priest who loved children and gave them flowers from his garden. He too was imprisoned because he refused to pray to the Roman gods. Bouquets of flowers, with love notes attached, were thrown through the prison bars to him from the loyal children who missed him.

During the years he was in prison, he fell in love with the jailer’s blind daughter. She was devoted in caring for him and brought him food and messages while trying to make his life behind bars more comfortable.

Eventually, Valentine was taken before the Emperor Claudius II who was touched by his gentle manner. The Emperor offered Valentine his freedom if he would give up Christianity. Of course, Valentine refused. Not only did he refuse, but he tried to convert Claudius. Sadly, the priest was sent back to jail for his final days.

While he was awaiting his fatal sentence, his faith was so strong that he continued to pray every day for the sight of the jailer’s daughter to be restored. He wrote her a final farewell message of love and signed it “from your Valentine”. She was able to read the message herself as her sight was returned, however, Valentine was still beheaded on Feb. 14.

It is possible that these three different Valentines were one in the same, but we just don’t know.

READ MORE:Valentine’s Day rooted in Pagan, Roman and Christian traditions

Long before the Romans executed rebel priests who lived for love, they honoured a god named Lupercus. As the god of herds and crops, the Romans believed Lupercus protected their flocks and kept the animals fertile. On the eve of the celebratory day, Feb. 15, young women would write their name on a piece of paper and place it into a bowl. Each young man would draw a name from this lottery and the young lady would become his partner.

Through the years the Christian Church abolished pagan holidays, like Lupercalia, but people still enjoyed the festivities. Lupercalia continued until the 5th century when it was renamed to St. Valentines day and bumped up a day in the calendar to Feb. 14.

The first formal messages or valentines became popular in the 1500’s. By the 1700’s commercially printed cards were being used and by the 1800’s valentines cards were printed in the U.S.A. Still today the ancient Romans are influencing how we look on this holiday of love. It may no longer be an execution by beheading, but now a little less bloody with an arrow through the heart from the Roman god of love, Cupid.

Whatever origins of Valentine’s day you chose to believe, believe that you are worthy of love and share the sentiment with someone special.

K-J Millar | Journalist
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Chocolates, flowers or cards, what ever it is, just say “I love you” to someone on Valentine’s day

Just Posted

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Digital Daffodils

April is Canadian Cancer Society’s cancer awareness month

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

City gives no response to homelessness concerns

City demands shelter close, but no response to pleas from shelter to open Jim Ciccone Civic Centre

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

COVID-19: B.C. reports 4 deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read