Our Readers' Opinions
February 13, 2009
Is Valentine the same as ancient time?


Editor: The celebration of Valentine is linked to a Roman holiday – Lupercalia, which shared most of the customs incorporated today into the popular Valentine’s celebration, although our contemporary Valentine’s Day comes one day earlier (on February 14) than the Roman Feast. This was a contrivance by ecumenical Roman Catholic teachers who found that by relabelling the Roman holiday with the name of “one of their saints,” they could effectively merge the customs of a pagan holiday into the Christian calendar. {{more}}

In the book Life and Leisure in Ancient Rome, we find some very frank discussions about the conversion of the pagans to popular Christianity. “After paganism (followed) Chr-stianity. Now there were new public festivals, in particular – Easter, and the old pagan festivals should have vanished … but superstition does not obey instructions, and the ordinary man is reluctant to turn his back on carnal enjoyment. Among a haphazard recollection of imperial birthdays, circus days, birthdays of martyrs and the major festivals of the Chr-stian Church, there are included nine of the old Roman festivals to whose pagan attribution a blind eye might be turned, including the Lupercalia and the Saturnalia, described inoffensively as the ‘Feast of Slaves.’ In some cases, pagan practices transferred themselves to Christian worship. December 25th remained, but changed its character. Sometimes pagan [Elohim] enjoyed an easy transformation and, retained the jubilation of their festivals, became Chr-stian.” (page 73)

The World Book Encyclopedia states: “The Romans celebrated their feast of Lupercalia as a lover’s festival for young people. Young men and women chose partners for the festival by drawing names by chance from a box. Then the partners exchanged gifts as a sign of affection. They usually continued to enjoy one another’s company long after the festival. Many such courtships ended in marriage. After the spread of Christianity, churchmen tried to give Christian meaning to the pagan festival.

In 496, Pope Gelasius changed the Lupercalia festival of February 15 to Saint Valentine’s Day on February 14. But, THE SENTIMENTAL MEANING OF THE OLD FESTIVAL HAS REMAINED TO THE PRESENT TIME.” What a candid admission!

The Assemblies of Yahweh. – Cedars