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February 14, 2014

Valentine’s Day – Glamorizing ancient paganism

Fri Feb 14, 2013

EDITOR: Candy in heart-shaped boxes, depictions of Cupid shooting his bow, greeting cards expressing affection for a special person of the opposite sex, and red hearts placed as decorations comprise just a few of the items that relate to the annual holiday of Valentine’s Day. People blindly observe this holiday year after year, without ever considering the true origin of this day. Even those professing a faith in the Bible join in the celebration. What can be wrong with such a day of fun? To the sincere seeker of truth, each day observed as a holiday (holy day) must be closely examined to determine if it agrees with the Word of Yahweh.{{more}} Holidays with pagan origins are not sanctified by Almighty Yahweh. Should we celebrate days that Almighty Yahweh has not sanctified? Where did these days originate if not from the Bible? With these thoughts in mind, let us briefly consider the origin of Valentine’s Day to determine the veracity of true worshippers engaging in the customary festivities of this day as a holiday.

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.

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) Christianity. 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 Christians 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 Gods enjoyed an easy transformation and, the retained jubilation of their festivals, became Christian.” (page 73)

The World Book Encyclopaedia 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! Why should a true worshipper continue to celebrate Valentine’s Day, knowing that it originates from gross paganism? We must all be careful to consider our ways, lest we be deceived and lose our salvation. “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Messiah.” Colossians 2:8. Let us honour Yahweh by keeping His commandments and doing those things that are pleasing in His sight.

Sheldon Govia

The Assemblies of Yahweh