Here are a few darker truths about Valentine’s Day

Here are a few darker truths about Valentine’s Day

LOVE FOR ALL
LOVE FOR ALL

It’s important to approach Valentine’s Day with a balanced perspective, recognizing that love takes many forms and expressions. It’s also crucial to be mindful of individual preferences and to celebrate love in a way that feels authentic and meaningful.

CLICK HERE FOR 210 Happy Valentines Day 2024: Images, Quotes, Wishes

Valentine’s Day, often celebrated as a day of love and affection, has a more complex history and some controversial aspects. Here are a few darker truths about Valentine’s Day:

  1. Commercialization: Valentine’s Day has become highly commercialized, with the pressure to buy expensive gifts and plan elaborate gestures. This commercial aspect can create unrealistic expectations and financial strain for individuals and couples.
  2. Loneliness and Isolation: For those who are single or recently experienced a breakup, Valentine’s Day can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and isolation. The societal emphasis on romantic love can make individuals feel inadequate or left out.
  3. Relationship Expectations: The day can sometimes put undue pressure on relationships, leading to expectations that may be difficult to meet. This pressure can cause stress and disappointment, especially if the celebration doesn’t live up to the romantic ideals portrayed in media.
  4. Exclusionary Nature: Valentine’s Day can make single individuals feel excluded or even stigmatized. The focus on romantic love may overshadow other important forms of love, such as self-love, friendships, and familial love.
  5. Origins of Valentine’s Day: The origins of Valentine’s Day are murky, and some theories suggest connections to Roman festivals with dark undertones. The celebration may have ties to rituals involving animal sacrifice and fertility.
  6. Environmental Impact: The mass production of Valentine’s Day cards, gifts, and decorations contributes to environmental issues. The excessive use of paper, plastics, and other materials can result in waste that harms the environment.
  7. Pressure on Singles: The societal emphasis on romantic love during Valentine’s Day can create societal pressure on individuals who are single. This pressure may lead to feelings of inadequacy or a rush into relationships that may not be healthy.
  8. High Expectations: The romantic ideals perpetuated by media and society can set unrealistic expectations for relationships. Couples may feel pressured to have a perfect day, leading to disappointment if reality falls short of these expectations.
    1. Emotional Strain: The societal emphasis on grand gestures and expressions of love can create emotional strain for those who may not be naturally inclined toward overt displays of affection. The pressure to conform to societal expectations can be overwhelming.
    2. Comparison and Insecurity: Social media often amplifies the comparison game during Valentine’s Day. Seeing elaborate displays of affection from others can lead to feelings of inadequacy or insecurity, particularly if one’s own celebration doesn’t measure up.
    3. Exploitative Marketing: Some critics argue that the marketing industry exploits the vulnerability and emotions associated with love. Advertisements often play on the fear of not being loved or not expressing love adequately, encouraging unnecessary consumerism.
    4. Overemphasis on Romantic Love: While romantic love is undoubtedly significant, the exclusive focus on it during Valentine’s Day can overshadow the importance of other types of love, such as platonic love, familial love, and self-love.
    5. Relationship Stress: For some couples, the expectation to have a perfect Valentine’s Day can lead to stress and conflict. It may highlight existing relationship issues or create pressure to conform to societal norms, potentially jeopardizing the authenticity of the relationship.
    6. Unrealistic Standards: Media portrayals of idealized romantic relationships can set unrealistic standards for what a loving relationship should look like. This can lead to dissatisfaction and disappointment if reality doesn’t align with these romanticized ideals.
    7. Forced Expressions of Love: The cultural expectation to express love on a specific day may lead to insincere or forced gestures. True expressions of love should ideally come from genuine feelings and not be dictated by a particular date on the calendar.
    8. Impact on Mental Health: For individuals dealing with issues like depression, anxiety, or grief, the heightened focus on love and happiness during Valentine’s Day can exacerbate feelings of sadness or loss.
    9. Cultural and Religious Differences: Not all cultures or religious groups embrace the celebration of Valentine’s Day. The cultural imposition of Westernized ideals of love can clash with diverse cultural norms and values.
    10. Post-Valentine’s Day Blues: The day after Valentine’s Day can bring a sense of disappointment or sadness for some individuals. The return to daily life may feel underwhelming compared to the heightened expectations associated with the celebration.

Despite these darker aspects, it’s important to note that Valentine’s Day can also be an opportunity for expressing love and appreciation in a positive way. Many people find joy in celebrating the day with loved ones, emphasizing meaningful connections beyond romantic relationships. Ultimately, how one perceives and celebrates Valentine’s Day is a personal choice, and there are various ways to redefine and reclaim the day’s meaning.

READ: Happy Valentine’s Day 2024: Quotes Gift & Ideas

Valentine’s Day quotes

  1. “Love is not about how many days, months, or years you have been together. Love is about how much you love each other every single day.” – Unknown
  2. “In your light, I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.” – Rumi
  3. “Love is like the wind, you can’t see it, but you can feel it.” – Nicholas Sparks, “A Walk to Remember”
  4. “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way.” – Pablo Neruda
  5. “The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” – Audrey Hepburn
  6. “Love is when the desire to be desired takes you so badly that you feel you could die of it.” – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
  7. “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” – Aristotle
  8. “To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” – David Viscott
  9. “Love is an endless mystery, for it has nothing else to explain it.” – Rabindranath Tagore
  10. “There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” – George Sand
  11. “Love doesn’t make the world go ’round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” – Franklin P. Jones
  12. “Love is the greatest refreshment in life.” – Pablo Picasso
  13. “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” – Dr. Seuss
  14. “Love is when you meet someone who tells you something new about yourself.” – Andre Breton
  15. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu
  16. “Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.” – Helen Keller
  17. “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller
  18. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
  19. “Where there is love, there is life.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  20. “Love is an endless mystery, for it has nothing else to explain it.” – Rabindranath Tagore

The Truth About Valentine’s Day Authored by The Eternal Church of God

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Authored by
The Eternal Church of God
This booklet is offered free of charge by the authors and publisher
as an educational service in the public interest. All Scriptures are
from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.

Day
Every year, during the month of February, millions of
people around the world exchange cards, candy, flowers, jewelry,
and other terms of endearment in a celebration known as Saint
Valentine’s Day. During this time couples will go out on dates,
lovers will share intimacies, friends and family members will
exchange hugs and children experiencing puppy love may even
receive their first kiss. While the Bible says that “God is love,”
and Valentine’s Day has a premise of affection, the observance
actually has nothing in common with the love of God. Instead, its
celebration is filled with lust and materialism.
The Greeting Card Association estimates that
approximately one billion valentine cards are sent each year. The
U.S. National Census calculates that Americans consume nearly
3.5 million tons of candy annually and a large portion of this is
purchased for Valentine’s Day. According to the Floral Index,
110 million roses are sold in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day and
American’s spend $18 billion on other gifts.
A virtual love-frenzy seems to take place during this time
of year, but how did this holiday come into existence? When and
where did it originate? Why does it occur on February 14th? How
did it become associated with a supposed saint? Did a legendary
Valentine even exist?
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
The origin and meaning of this celebration need not be a
mystery. It is possible for you to know the shocking truth about
Valentine’s Day!
The Original Valentine
While examining the history of Valentine’s Day, we find a
celebration that dates back to the very origin of paganism itself.
Many historians and religious scholars trace this festival all the
way back to Ham’s grandson Nimrod, the founder of Babylon and
mystery religion. As Moses wrote:
Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on
the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD;
therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter
before the LORD.” And the beginning of his kingdom
was Babel (Genesis 10:8-10).
The religious practices propagated by Nimrod’s empire
need not to be obscure. This man was known as a “mighty one”
and a “mighty hunter.” Interestingly, the name Valentine comes
from the Latin valens meaning strong, vigorous, and powerful.
These descriptive terms are synonymous with “mighty” attributed
to Nimrod who became the subject of innumerable legends.
Along with his mother Semiramis, Nimrod was eventually
worshipped as a god for thousands of years after his death. Traces
of his worship are still found in many religious practices today
including Christmas, Buddhism, Easter, Hinduism, and
Valentine’s Day.
God punished the people who followed Nimrod as they
were building the tower of Babel. The project was abandoned after
the people began speaking different languages and they migrated
to various places of the earth (Gen. 11:6-9). Wherever they went
they took Nimrod’s mystery religion with them. In their new
locations they erected false gods and observed rituals based on
what they learned under the rule of Nimrod in the land of Shinar.
As a result of the wide dispersion, and the fact that the
people now spoke different languages, Nimrod came to be known
~ 2 ~
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
by many different names. He gave rise to deities such as Asar,
Dumuzi, Orian, Pan, Gilgamesh, Osiris, Eros, Cupid, Baal, and
Marduk to name just a few. Speaking of Nimrod’s infamy, Ray C.
Stedman stated the following in the article God’s Funnel:
The account zooms in on an individual named Nimrod,
who is called a great hunter. He is a rather mysterious
figure, of great importance in ancient history. He is the
founder, as we are told, of both Babylon and Nineveh,
the two great cities of antiquity which ultimately
became enemies of Israel. The prominent thing said
about him here is that he was a mighty man, “a mighty
hunter before the LORD.” Nimrod evidently gained a
great reputation as such a hunter, but he was more than
a hunter of wild animals. The Jewish Talmud helps us
here, for it says that he was “a hunter of the souls of
men.” By the founding of Babylon and Nineveh we
have a hint given of the nature of this man… It now
suggests that Nimrod was one of these “mighty men,”
and therefore introduced a perverted, degraded form of
religion into the world. It began at Babylon, spread to
Nineveh, and can be traced in history as it
subsequently spread throughout the whole of the earth.
Thus, in this man Nimrod, we have the seed of idolatry
and false religion coming in again after the flood
(http://www.raystedman.org/old-testament/genesis/
gods-funnel, ret. 2/9/2017).
Nimrod was at the heart of Babylon’s rise both physically
and spiritually. In the Babylonian tongue the word for heart is
bal. Baal, the pagan god mentioned frequently in the Bible, is
simply another title for this catalyst of false religion—Nimrod.
According to Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary, Pan was directly
connected to the Lupercalia and, “according to some is the same
as Faunus” (p. 477).
Another link in Nimrod’s transformation to Baal is found
in the false god Marduk. Dropping the first consonant of
Nimrod’s name and lining up the remaining letters, you end up
~ 3 ~
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
~ 4 ~
with MRD which is a root term for Marduk. Researchers for the
Encyclopedia Britannica documented the link between Marduk
and Baal, and the proliferation of different gods springing from
this one person:
Marduk, in Mesopotamian religion, the chief god of
the city of Babylon and the national god of Babylonia;
as such, he was eventually called simply Bel, or Lord…
A poem, known as Enuma elish and dating from the
reign of Nebuchadrezzar I (1119–1098 bce), relates
Marduk’s rise to such preeminence that he was the god
of 50 names, each one that of a deity or of a divine
attribute (https://www.britannica.com/topic/Marduk,
ret. 2/10/2017).
The pagan god Baal is well documented in both secular
and biblical history. The Israelites were seduced into the worship
of Baal and Ashtoreth, who many agree were originally known as
Nimrod and Semiramis. The book of Judges records Israel’s sin
of serving these two false gods stating:
And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who
had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they
followed other gods from among the gods of the people
who were all around them, and they bowed down to
them; and they provoked the LORD to anger. They
forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.
And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel
(Judges 2:12-14).
The many fables and deities that sprang from Nimrod also
included Nimrod’s mother Semiramis queen of Babylon.
Semiramis is said to have lusted after her son and eventually
seduced and married him. One example of a false god springing
forth from this incestuous relationship is found in the god Osiris.
Osiris is literally the Egyptian name for Nimrod and this popular
Egyptian god was the husband of his mother.
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
~ 5 ~
Even more significant, after Nimrod’s death, Semiramis
became pregnant. She claimed that her pregnancy was induced
without intercourse and that her child was the rebirth of Nimrod.
This claim became the foundation of belief in a virgin birth long
before Christ walked the earth. From this we can see a clever
attempt by Satan to mislead people in anticipation of the
genuine immaculate conception of Christ that would take place
thousands of years later. The worship of Semiramis and Nimrod
eventually spread throughout much of the world. As noted by
Alexander Hislop:
From Babylon, this worship of the Mother and the
Child spread to the ends of the earth. In Egypt, the
Mother and the Child were worshipped under the
names of Isis and Osiris. In India, even to this day, as
Isa and Iswara; in Asia, as Cybele and Deoius; in
Pagan Rome, as Fortuna and Jupiter-puer, or Jupiter,
the boy’ in Greece, as Ceres, the great Mother, with the
babe at her breast, or as Irene, the goddess of Peace,
with the boy Plutus in her arms; and even in Thibet, in
China, and Japan, the Jesuit missionaries were
astonished to find the counterpart of Madonna and her
child as devoutly worshipped in Papal Rom itself;
Shing Moo, the Holy Mother in China, being
represented with a child in her arms, and a glory
around her, exactly as if a Roman Catholic artist had
been employed to set her up (The Two Babylons, 1871,
7
th ed. pp. 20-21).
The Lupercalia
As the people were scattered abroad from Babel, the
legends of Semiramis and Nimrod went with them becoming the
catalyst for the creation of a variety of gods. These gods were
actually the old gods of Babylon, but they were given new names
according to the language now spoken by the migrants. This is
clearly demonstrated by the way in which the folklore of Nimrod
gave rise to the pagan gods Lupercus, Pan, Februus, and Faunus
which are all associated with the Lupercalia—a pre-Roman
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
~ 6 ~
festival that became Saint Valentine’s Day. The Lupercalia was
originally celebrated on February 15th with preceding activities
on the 14th
.
Lupercus was a god of shepherds and was called upon to
protect their flocks and herds. He was known as a mighty
mountain wolf hunter, a title very similar to the description of
Nimrod found in the book Genesis. There is also evidence that
Nimrod traveled to this area to hunt wolves as the Italian
Apennine Mountains were at one time known as “the Mountains
of Nembrod.” Thus a god called Lupercus was fabricated from
the Babylonian traditions found among the people residing in the
hills of modern Rome. By this, Nimrod became honored in their
festival of Lupercalia.
As a sequel to the celebration of the Saturnalia, the
Lupercalia was a festival that also honored the legendary
founders of Rome—Romulus and Remus. Falling on February
15th
, the holiday was celebrated in anticipation of spring and was
considered a religious rite to promote purification and the fertility
of land, animals, and people. The official ceremony took place in
Rome at the foot of the Palatine Hill, at the cave of Lupercal,
where it is said that the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus,
were nurtured by a she-wolf during their early years of life. The
tales surrounding these brothers were filled with sensuality and
idolatry and were included as a part of the Lupercalia.
The religious ceremonies were directed by Luperci—
meaning brothers of the wolf, who were priests of Faunus. The
famous Roman general and politician Mark Antony was once a
member of this priesthood. It began with Vestal Virgins offering
cakes, called mola salsa, made from the first ears of last year’s
grain harvest. Two naked young men, assisted by the Vestals,
then sacrificed a dog and one or two goats. Goats were used
because of the symbol of sexual vigor and Lupercus was also
considered a god of shepherds. A dog was used because it was
considered to be the flock’s main defender against wolves. The
blood from the animals was then smeared on the foreheads of the
young men and wiped off with wool or goat’s hair dipped in
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
milk. A sacrificial feast followed, after which the youths then
girded themselves with loincloths made from the goat’s skin.
The goatskin was also used to fashion small whips called
“februa.” The young men would then begin laughing as they
gallivanted around the hilly boundaries of the city—striking men
and women with the februa who would line up along the way.
This lascivious act was believed to provide fertility, easy
child birth, and protection from curses or bad luck to anyone the
februa touched. It is said that some women would even bare their
nakedness to the februa in hopes of obtaining better results.
Publius Ovidius Naso, commonly known as Ovid a
famous Latin poet who lived between 43 B.C. and 17 A.D.,
mentioned this act of striking women with the februa in one of
his poems regarding the Lupercalia. He wrote:
Neither potent herbs, nor prayers, nor magic spells shall
make of thee a mother, submit with patience to the
blows dealt by a fruitful hand (Ovid, XV. KAL. 15th).
This fertility festival was accompanied by rowdiness and
horseplay. One can easily imagine the depravity of the scene as
half naked youths dressed only in goat’s skin covering their loins
~ 7 ~
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
frolicked around the city and countryside slapping men, women,
and young girls with a whip to encourage fertility. It is not
difficult to surmise that fornication would have quickly followed
this ceremony in which it was believed that the women had just
been made miraculously fertile.
Another false god associated with Nimrod and the
Lupercalia was Pan. Portrayed as a vigorous individual, Pan was
partly human with several features of a goat. He has been
depicted in ancient art as running through the mountains slaying
wild animals, seducing young
men and women, and
sometimes copulating with
goats. Because of his Nimrod￾like strength, it was believed
that Pan brought great fear
upon many of those in his
presence. The expression
“panic” was derived from this
ancient myth.
The association of the
Lupercalia and Pan was noted
by H. J. Rose in his book
Religion in Greece and Rome
where one of the symbolic
acts of the Lupercalia are
compared to Pan. While
during the ritual of the two male youths, they would gird their
naked bodies with loincloths made from sacrificed goatskins:
This is done by the young men transforming
themselves, for the time being, into human he-goats,
the very embodiments of sexual vigour and at the same
time of pugnacity. It is not by accident that the ancients
supposed the performance to take place in honour of a
god who might be identified with the Greek Pan, for he
too is a he-goat, partly humanised (p. 206).
~ 8 ~
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
Another god honored during the Lupercalia was Faunus,
and the description given him provides further insight into the
supposed purification associated with the holiday. The
Encyclopedia Britannica described Faunus as:
An ancient Italian rural deity whose attributes in
Roman times were identified with those of the Greek
god Pan. Faunus was originally worshiped in the
countryside as a bestower of fruitfulness on fields and
flocks. A grandson of Saturn, Faunus was typically
represented as half man, half goat, a derivation from
the Greek Satyr, in the company of similar creatures,
known as Fauns. Like Pan, Faunus was associated with
merriment, and his twice-yearly festivals were marked
by revelry and abandon. At the Lupercalia, a festival
held partly in his honor each February in Rome well
into the Christian era, youths clothed as goats ran
through the streets wielding strips of goatskin
(https://www.britannica.com/topic/Faunus, ret. 2/9/2017).
This pagan god of fruitfulness was also widely
recognized as a god of sexual superiority and thus was
viewed as a source of seed bearing to women. The image of
half man and half goat was looked upon, in the mystical
realm, as the very embodiment of sexual vigor. Being
associated with the god Pan is another clue to Faunus’ nature.
Pan was also a fertility deity and, “Pan was generally
represented as a vigorous and lustful figure having the horns,
legs, and ears of a goat” (https://www.britannica.com/topic/Pan￾Greek-god, ret. 2/10/2017).
Another pagan god of old was Februus aka Hades—a god
of the dead and purification. In his honor the Februalia festivities
were held around the same time as the Lupercalia. Februus and
Juno Februata were also known as the gods of febris— a term
meaning fever as related to passion. The widely used expression
of being lovesick probably came from this term.
~ 9 ~
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
Because of the many gods and similarities in festivities
during this month, deities worshiped at this time were often
confused with one another and sometimes thought of as the same.
February
We now see that the title of the month “February” gives
insight into the practices of ancient Greece and Rome. February
was nominally the last month of the Roman calendar, as the year
originally began in March. The term February comes from the
Latin februa that means “feast of purification.” It is the last month
of the ancient Roman calendar. As winter began to pass and the
days become longer, the festivals of fertility, renewal, and
supposed spiritual enlightenment began. John Robertson, an expert
on the ancient Roman and modern western calendars, stated:
The name, Februarius, came about because of the
Roman ceremonies for religious purification and
expiation which took place during that month in
anticipation of the new year; which originally began on
March 1 The name, Februarius, came about because of
the Roman ceremonies for religious purification and
expiation which took place during that month in
anticipation of the new year; which originally began on
March 1 (http://www.logofiles.com/feb-history.html).
Many clues now fall into play as we consider the pagan
gods Juno Februata, Februus, and the goat hide whip of the
Lupercalia called the “februa.” Although fertility and the lustful
acts that followed were a primary function of the Lupercalia,
adherents of these beliefs also claimed that their gods would
fertilize the land as well as their flocks. James Oliver explained
this in his book Seasonal Feasts and Festivals, stating:
The chief purpose of the Lupercalia was to remedy
barrenness in women, though in all probability it
originated as a rustic purification festival for the
protection of the flocks and herds as well as for the
~ 10 ~
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
promotion of fertility in man, beast and the crops,
before it became an urban observance on the Palatine.
Thus, the encircling of the settlement by the Luperci
girded with the fleece of the sacrificed goats, and
carrying the februa, would seem to have been a beating
of the bounds in order to trace a magic circle round the
city to shut out the evil influences responsible for
barrenness, and all other harmful things, such as
wolves (p. 178).
Clearly the Lupercalia was a fertility festival filled with
mysticism and depravity, but why was it celebrated in mid￾February? This is also related to Nimrod who was purported by
some to have been born during the 21st century B.C. on the winter
solstice equivalent to January 6th in the calendar used today.
Custom required a new mother to attend a purification ritual forty
days after the child’s birth. This tradition of pagans was likely
adopted from guidelines previously established among the
faithful people of God as documented in the first books of the
Bible (Gen. 26:5; Lev. 12:1-8). With January 6th considered as
the birth of Nimrod, the purification ritual for Semiramis would
have fallen on a calendar date of February 15
th, or on February
14th when considering that each new day began at sunset the
evening prior—another custom borrowed from God’s people
(Gen. 1).
By putting the facts together a trail through time to
emerges. The early fertility festivals transitioned into modern
expressions as civilization advanced. The roots of Valentine’s
Day are deeply embedded in ancient pagan purification and
fertility festivals. When following the foot prints of this holiday
even further back in history, they lead to Nimrod and his
perverted relationship with his mother and wife Semiramis.
The Lover’s Lottery
Another festivity of ancient times, connected to the
Lupercalia, was surnamed the lover’s lottery. Celebrated by the
youth on the eve of the Lupercalia, this ritual was in honor of
~ 11 ~
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
Juno Februata queen of the Roman gods. Designated as the
goddess of women, love, marriage, childbirth, and sometimes
war, Juno’s festivals were commonly orgiastic rites of fertility.
Interestingly, Juno was often portrayed wearing a goatskin
cloak—the same material used to clothe the half naked youths at
the culmination of the Lupercalia ceremony.
During this particular event, names of young girls were
written down and placed in urns or jars. A teenage boy would
then draw a name and the two would be paired, forming a
temporary liaison, for dancing, merry making, and erotic games
at feasts and parties throughout Rome. After the festival they
were to remain partners for the rest of the year and this
sometimes resulted in marriage. James Hastings wrote about this
activity in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Volume III:
The customs of Valentine’s Day have been handed
down from the Roman festival of the Lupercalia,
celebrated in the month of February, when the names
of young women were put into a box and drawn out by
men as chance directed. This is the origin of
valentines—cards linking men and women together for
sexual purposes. This festival was characterized in the
later Roman period by wanton raillery and unkindled
freedom (p. 226).
This custom was observed in the Roman Empire for
centuries. It was a tradition performed in anticipation of the rites
of spring—a celebration of youthful love.
During the medieval days of chivalry, the lover’s lottery
was very popular in England. The names of maidens and
bachelors were put into separate boxes and drawn out in pairs.
The couple exchanged gifts and the girl became the man’s
valentine. The male often wore his valentine’s name on his sleeve
and it was his duty to attend and protect her. Today the old adage,
to wear your heart on your sleeve means that it is easy for other
people to know how you are feeling. This saying is derived from
a tradition observed during the medieval lover’s lottery where
~ 12 ~
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
one could easily read the name of the girl the male was paired
with on his sleeve.
In other areas both sexes drew from the valentine box.
John Brand documented the tradition in his Observations on
Popular Antiquities of Great Britain, stating:
On the Eve of the 14th of February, St. Valentine’s
Day, a time when all living nature inclines to couple,
the young folks in England and Scotland too, by a
very ancient custom, celebrate a little festival that
tends to the same end. An equal number of maids and
bachelors get together, each writes their true or some
feigned name upon separate billets, which they roll
up, and draw by way of lots, the maids taking the
men’s billets, and the men the maids’; so that each of
the young men lights upon a girl that he calls his
Valentine, and each of the girls upon a young man
which she calls her’s. By this means each has two
Valentines: but the man sticks faster to the Valentine
that is fallen to him, than the Valentine to whom he is
fallen. Fortune having thus divided the company into
so many couples, the Valentines give balls and treats
to their mistresses, wear their billets several days
upon their bosoms or sleeves, and this little sport
often ends in love (v. 1, pp. 59-60).
During this period there was a minor poem written by
John Lydgate stating, “A ballad made… in ways of choosing
loves at Saint Valentine’s Day.” This poem further indicates
that the manner of choosing a valentine mate was done by
drawing names.
In an effort to downplay the immoral practice of the
lover’s lottery, the Catholic Church tried to change the activity
into something more acceptable by substituting the names of girls
with names of saints. The young people would draw a name out
of an urn or box and attempt to emulate the saint whose name
they had drawn throughout the following year. Alban Butler
wrote the following in his book, Lives of the Saints:
~ 13 ~
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~ 14 ~
To abolish the heathen, lewd, superstitious custom of
boys drawing the names of girls, in honour of their
goddess Februata Juno, on the 15th of February,
several zealous Pastors substituted the names of
Saints in billets given on that day. St. Frances de
Sales severely forbad the custom of Valentines, or
giving boys in writing the names of girls to be
admired and attended on by them; and to abolish it, he
changed it into giving billets with the names of
certain Saints, for them to honour and imitate in a
particular manner (p. 539).
By the 14th century this practice had died out and the
people reverted back to the use of girl’s names. In the 16th
century the church once again tried to make Valentine’s Day
saintly, but it was just as unsuccessful as their first attempt.
During the 17th century celebrants began to exchange love notes
which became known as valentine cards.
Early valentine cards were made by hand using colored
paper, watercolors, and colored inks. Increasingly beautiful
handmade valentines were often small works of art, richly
decorated with silk, satin or lace, flowers or feathers, and even
gold leaf. Cards decorated with black and white pictures painted
by factory workers were produced in the early 1800s. In the
United States the first mass-produced cards of embossed paper
lace were sold by Esther A. Howland in 1847.
The giving of a Valentine card to another person is no less
than an extension of the lover’s lottery—a practice in honor of
the goddess Juno Februata that frequently resulted in premarital
sexual activity.
Today, a card is one of the most common gifts on
Valentine’s Day. Millions of people across the globe exchange
cards expressing fondness, love, or desire for another person and
few realize that this is a modern expression of the lover’s lottery.
As a result, a modern expression of the lover’s lottery
takes place in thousands of elementary schools across America
each year. Not desiring anyone to be left out by not receiving a
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
valentine card, many teachers will put all the names of their
students in a box and draw out names of those who are to give
one another a valentine that year. But should any of us be
participating in such activites?
Christianizing Pagan Festivals
Like many secular holidays, the feast of Juno Februata
and the celebration of the Lupercalia were eventually dressed in
Christian apparel. Saint Valentine’s Day and the traditions
associated with it are the result of an attempt by the Roman
Catholic Church to whitewash idolatrous customs. This process
began during the third and fourth centuries when Christianity
became a state sponsored religion in the Roman Empire.
By this act, vast numbers of pagans began to stream into
the church. The clergy half-heartedly attempted to steer them
away from their cherished holidays, but the deep seated passions
of the masses was a battle the ministry did not want to fight. In
an attempt to build bridges, the church decided to give pagan
festivals a makeover. In his book Popular Antiquities of Great
Britain, John Brand stated this well known fact.
Thus at the first promulgation of Christianity to the
gentile nations… they [gentiles] could not be persuaded
to relinquish many of their superstitions, which rather
than forego altogether, they chose to blend and
incorporate with the new faith (p. xi).
In Clavis Calendaria, Vol. 1, John Brand also stated that,
“for almost every pagan ceremony, some Christian rite was
introduced” (p. 196). This is definitely the case when it comes to
our modern Saint Valentine’s Day.
There were initially two rituals instituted by the Roman
Catholic Church during the month of February. Both were
designed to replace similar festivals observed by the pagans; the
Lupercalia and the lover’s lottery. Obviously these celebrations
had no place in the new professing Christian order and they were
~ 15 ~
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the first to be reworked. In the book Customs and Holidays
around the World, author Lavinia Dobler stated:
As far back as 496, Pope Gelasius changed Lupercalia
on Feb. 15 to St. Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14 (p. 172).
This statement is one of many sources relating that, late
in the 5th century, the papacy transformed the Lupercalia and the
lover’s lottery. During this alteration, a supposed saint named
Valentine was chosen as the patron saint of lovers. They also
created a new feast called the Purification of the Virgin Mary
which was later named Candlemas.
Candlemas
In an attempt to change the pagan symbolism of fertility
and purification during the month of February, the Roman
Catholic Church designed another holiday called the Feast of the
Purification of the Virgin Mary. The observance was later called
Candlemas. The Catholic Encyclopedia states:
Forty days after the birth of Christ Mary complied with
this precept of the law, she redeemed her first-born
from the temple (Numbers 18:15), and was purified by
the prayer of Simeon the just, in the presence of Anna
the prophetess (Luke 2:22 sqq.). No doubt this event,
the first solemn introduction of Christ into the house of
God, was in the earliest times celebrated in the Church
of Jerusalem. We find it attested for the first half of the
fourth century by the pilgrim of Bordeaux, Egeria or
Silvia. The day (14 February) was solemnly kept by a
procession to the Constantinian basilica of the
Resurrection, a homily on Luke 2:22 sqq., and the
Holy Sacrifice. But the feast then had no proper name;
it was simply called the fortieth day after Epiphany.
This latter circumstance proves that in Jerusalem
Epiphany was then the feast of Christ’s birth
(http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03245b.htm, ret. 12/13/12).
~ 16 ~
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The Catholic Church admits to observing this day as a
form of “purification.” In an attempt to justify the observance,
they assert that the event had always been celebrated by the early
Church in Jerusalem, but “the feast had no proper name.”
Consider that if such a holiday was ever observed by the apostles
and the New Testament Church, there would have been some
mention of it in their writings!
What they are trying to avoid is the fact that this feast was
observed by pagans for centuries before the birth of Christ. It was
the purification of Semiramis which became the Lupercalia. The
apostate church tried to conceal this fact because their
celebrations were not proper and they actually had a name—the
Lupercalia! The church wanted to deny their connection to the
ancient celebration. The Catholic Encyclopedia continues:
Pope Sergius I (687-701) introduced a procession for
this day… The feast was certainly not introduced by
Pope Gelasius to suppress the excesses of the
Lupercalia… The blessing of the candles did not enter
into common use before the eleventh century; it has
nothing in common with the procession of the
Lupercalia (ibid).
~ 17 ~
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Despite denial by the Catholic Church, there are many
documents showing a connection between their observance and
the February pagan festivities, St. Valentine’s Day, and
Candlemas. In the late 1700s, John Brand wrote the following
using a form of language known today as Old English:
How this candle-bearing on Candlemas Day came first
up, the author of our English Festival declareth in this
manner: “Somtyme,” saith he, “when the Romaines by
great myght and royal power conquered all the world,
they were so proude, that they forgat God, and made
them divers gods after their own lust. And so among all
they had a god that they called Mars, that had been
tofore a notable knight in battayle; and so they prayed
to hym for help… the people prayed and did great
worship to his mother, that was called Februa, after
which woman much people have opinion that the
moneth February is called. Wherefore the second daie
of thys moneth is Candlemass Day. The Romaines this
night went about the city of Rome with torches and
candles brenning in worship of this woman Februa…
Then there was a Pope that was called Sergius, and
when he saw Christian people drawn to this false
maumetry (idolatry) and untrue belief he thought to
undo this foule use and custom, and turn it unto God’s
worship and our Lady’s, and gave commandment that
all Christian people should come to church and offer
up a candle brennyng, in the worship that they did to
this woman Februa, and do worship to our Lady and to
her Sonne our Lord Jesus Christ. So that now this feast
is solemnly hallowed thorowe all Christendome
(Observations on the Popular Antiquities of Great
Britain, vol. 1, p. 44).
Candlemas was NOT a practice of Christ’s New
Testament Church. Historians agree that the first references to it
becoming a church holiday date back to Pope Gelasius in the 5th
century and Pope Sergius in the 6th
. Even one of their own stated
the following in a sermon given in the 16th century:
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Why do we in this feast carry candles? Because the
Gentiles dedicated the month of February to the
infernal gods… Because the holy fathers could not
extirpate the custom, they ordained that Christians
should carry about candles in honor of the Blessed
Virgin; and thus what was done before in the honor of
Ceres [a goddess of grain] is now done in honor of the
Blessed Virgin (Pope Innocent XII, The American
Book of Days, p. 77-78).
It is clear these pagan festivals were retained as supposed
Christian observances. Candlemas is celebrated on February 15th
in the eastern churches but was later moved to February 2nd in the
west to coincide with the assertion that Christ was born on
December 25th. It is also evident that Saint Valentine’s Day was
introduced in an attempt to give the feast of Juno Februata and
the lover’s lottery a face lift, thus Christianizing another
licentious festival, but why did the church choose Valentine?
Saint Valentine
After several years of the new symbolism placed within
the heathen celebrations, a mysterious man named Valentine
became the patron saint for the church observance that was to
replace the pagan Lupercalia. However, there is no tangible
evidence that such a man actually existed.
Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three
different saints known as Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom are
mentioned in their martyrologies under the date of February 14th
.
One of these was a priest at Rome, another bishop of Interamna
(modern Terni), and the third was a man who supposedly suffered
persecution while in Africa. Of this third Valentine nothing else is
known. Nonetheless, the facts about all three of these men are
questionable at best. Their stories are better described as myth or
legend. A thorough study shows that conflicting stories have been
collected and assembled for each Valentine.
For example, one man is said to have served as a priest
during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius II. It is
~ 19 ~
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purported that Claudius decided that single men made better
soldiers than those with wives and families because they had less
desire to leave the military for home. Armed with this belief, the
emperor outlawed marriage for a period of time in order to
strengthen his military. Valentine is reported to have realized the
injustice of this law and continued to perform marriages for
lovers in secret. Upon discovery of Valentine’s violation of the
law, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Thus Valentine
became a saint for lovers.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed
for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons
where they were being terribly mistreated. According to another
legend, Valentine actually sent the first valentine card himself.
While in prison, it is said that Valentine fell in love with the
jailor’s daughter who visited him during his confinement. Before
his death he wrote her a letter signed, “From your Valentine,” an
expression that is widely used today.
The stories behind the Saint Valentine legends are vague
and many historians believe that they were simply fabrications
enabling the papacy to retain the appeal of the pagan February
feast by changing its licentious meaning to a more acceptable
image of love. The stories certainly were sympathetic to the
Catholic Church by portraying Valentine as a heroic and
romantic man. By the middle ages, St. Valentine was one of the
most popular figures in England and France.
Modern historians question if a catholic priest named
Valentine ever existed. Even if he did exist, it is agreed that there
is no evidence that his life resulted in the creation of a lover’s
holiday. Instead, of being related to an honorable saint, the
evidence indicates that Valentine’s Day is the result of an
adoption of the Lupercalia.
Worshipping the Creation Rather than the Creator
There is an instinct of many birds to choose a mate during
the month of February. The anticipation of this natural process
added fuel to the observance of these fertility and so-called love
~ 20 ~
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
festivals. Written in 1380 in Old English, Geoffrey Chaucer’s
Parliament of Fowls reflects the derived link between a natural
process and Valentine’s Day:
For this was on Seynt Valentyne’s day,
Whan every foul cometh ther to chese his make.
Because of the phenomenon regarding the pairing of birds
for mating, Valentine’s Day was considered an ideal occasion for
lovers to exchange love tokens and other forms intimacy. During
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries much of the French and
English literature contained allusions to the practices of
Valentine’s Day including such famous writers as John Gower
and William Shakespeare.
John Donne, the most popular of the English metaphysical
poets of the 17th century, wrote this in his work titled, An
Epithalamion, or Marriage Song of the Lady Elizabeth and Count
Palatine being Married on St. Valentine’s Day. Notice his use of
religious terms reflecting a mixture of theologies in the holiday:
Hail Bishop Valentine! whose day this is; All the air is
thy diocese, and all the chirping choristers and other
birds are thy parishioners: Thou marryest ever year
the lyric lark and the grave whispering dove; The
sparrow that neglects his life for love,
the household bird with the red stomarcher;
Celebrations thou mak’st the blackbird speed as soon,
as doth the goldfinch or the halcyon… This day more
cheerfully than ever shine, this day which might
inflame thyself, old Valentine!
Once again man has taken a natural process, designed by
the great God of the universe and turned it into a false doctrine—
a tradition of men! In this case, the wonder and beauty of the
birds mating and reproducing is falsely used as an example for
the observance of an idolatrous and perverted custom. Performed
~ 21 ~
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in the name of love, these various misuses of the body were
prophesied centuries ago by the Apostle Paul, who said:
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him
as God nor gave thanks to him. Instead, their thoughts
turned to worthless things, and their senseless hearts
were darkened. Though claiming to be wise, they
became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal
God for images that looked like mortal human beings,
birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles. For this reason,
God delivered them to sexual impurity as they
followed the lusts of their hearts and dishonored their
bodies with one another. They exchanged God’s truth
for a lie and worshipped and served the creation rather
than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen (ISV,
Romans 1:21-25).
God is the very source and embodiment of real love
(1John 4:16) and our love for Him is shown by our obedience to
His Word; not the observances honoring sex and fertility which
are a part of God’s physical creation. Christ pinpoints the error of
man’s ways, stating:
In vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the
commandments of men (Matthew 15:9).
Valentine’s Day is a commandment of men—not God!
Blindly following these holidays designed by men can be a grave
mistake. Christ stated that if we do this, our worship of Him will
be in vain! We must be careful and alert because the natural mind
of man focuses on the physical, the things of nature. It should
then be expected that the natural mind of man is hostile to God
and His spiritual law (Rom. 8:7). By following man’s devices, his
methods of worship and celebrations, it can only lead us away
from the true God.
~ 22 ~
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~ 23 ~
Symbols of Love – Cupid
When focusing on the various symbols of Valentine’s
Day, the misleading nature of this holiday becomes even more
obvious. Consider the mischievous, winged, child-like archer
known as Cupid. Today Cupid and his arrows are one of the most
popular signs of love and Valentine’s Day, but just where did this
character come from?
According to Roman mythology, Cupid is the son of
Venus a goddess of love and beauty. He was known as Eros in
ancient Greece and said to be a god of sexual desire. It is from
his name that we get the
expression “erotic.”
Eros was a child of the
gods Hermes and
Aphrodite. As a product
of this union, he was
considered to be a
“Herm-Aphrodite.” This
term became known as
an individual that had
both male and female
genitals which may be why Eros was frequently associated with
bisexual and homosexual tendencies.
Most representations of Cupid portray him as amoretti, a
winged baby, but ancient talismans actually portrayed him as a
winged phallus constructed of bronze, ivory, or wood. The name
Cupid comes from the Latin verb “cupere” meaning “to desire.”
He has been described in ancient mythology as an extremely
handsome, famous archer, who frequently hunted in the country
and mountains. Thus, another representation of Nimrod emerges.
Cupid was also said to be responsible for impregnating
numerous goddesses and mortals. In India Cupid was known as
Kama. The ancient Indian sex manual borrowed this term
calling itself the Kama Sutra.
Cupid’s mythological relationship with his mother is also
similar to that of Nimrod and his mother. Several paintings from
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~ 24 ~
the Renaissance era depict an incestuous relationship. In
Bronzino’s famous painting of 1545, Cupid kisses his mother
while fondling her breast as she caresses his arrow. Michelangelo
also produced a work of art portraying an abnormally intimate
relationship between Cupid and Venus.
The origin of this quaint and innocent looking winged
child is nothing short of evil and is something we should be
alarmed about. No one should use this sort of imagery to portray
love of any kind. Fraternizing with the names, symbols, or
practices of false gods does not mix with the life of a Christian.
No matter how cloaked these pagan symbols may seem, God
perceives them as dining at the table of demons (1Cor. 10:21).
Symbols of Love – The Heart
The most common symbol of Valentine’s Day is a shape
known as the heart. Although this shape bears no resemblance to
an actual human heart, everyone considers it to be an expression
of love, passion, or desire.
Today this symbol is used on a vast array of commercial
and personal products including cards, balloons, chocolates,
confectionaries, cakes, plates, napkins, eating utensils, towels,
jewelry, key chains, toys, furniture, bed spreads, breakfast cereal,
wrapping paper, and gift boxes to name a few. This image
appears on shirts, blouses, and dresses. It is embroidered on
jackets and pants. It is portrayed on underwear and lingerie, used
in cartoons, advertisements, books, and company logos
worldwide. It seems that there is no end to the products and
places where we can find this shape known as the heart. But
where did this shape originate and how did it come to be known
as a symbol of love, passion, and even sexual desire?
Some suggest that this shape resembles features of
woman such as breasts or buttocks. While these suggestions
might seem risqué, when it comes to the truth regarding
Valentine’s Day, they certainly have much more in common with
this shape than a human heart.
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~ 25 ~
The Catholic Church asserts that the symbol for the heart
began in the 1673 when Margaret Mary had a series of visions of
the shape inside of a crown. Her dreams inspired the creation of a
Catholic devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. However,
archaeological artifacts document this shape back to ancient
times. Consider the words of Jack Tressider who wrote an
extensive Dictionary of Symbols:
The “Sacred Heart” of Christ became a focus of
Roman Catholic worship as a symbol of the Lord’s
redeeming love… The heart transfixed by Eros’
(Cupid’s) arrow was another Renaissance theme,
which became the motif of St. Valentine’s Day—a
mid-February festival with pagan rather than Christian
roots (p. 101).
Just as Valentine’s Day
came from something other than
Christianity, ancient artifacts date this
symbol to times of antiquity. One
opinion is that the modern heart shape
came from Sumerian cuneiform which is a
primitive text widely used in Asia during the
3
rd millennium B.C. The symbol known as sal was used to
represent a woman. Scholars believe that this cuneiform directly
depicts the female pubic mound. Notice its resemblance to the
modern shape of a heart.
A more likely explanation for this symbol was found
within the history of an ancient city found in modern day Libya
known as Cyrene. Cyrenaica was a Greek colony founded by
Aristoteles (Battus) of Thera in 630 B.C. The small upland areas
surrounding this city was the only place in the world that
produced a species of giant fennel called silphion by the Greeks
and silphium by the Romans. Silphium grew in a relatively
narrow band along the Mediterranean bordered by the desert.
Once discovered, it became one of the most valued and expensive
pharmaceuticals of the ancient world. Silphium was Cyrene’s
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~ 26 ~
chief local export through much of its early history, and the
commercial trade of this plant made Cyrene one of the richest
cities in Africa.
One of the distinct characteristics of this plant was its
fruit, called phyllon that grew in the same shape of today’s
symbol for the heart. Cyrene issued coins between 510 and 490
B.C. depicting silphium either as a whole plant or just its fruit.
Crude Cyrenaican coins depicting silphium and its fruit
ca 510-490 B.C.
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~ 27 ~
Silphium was highly valued as a culinary and medicinal
plant. It used to treat the common cold, upset stomach, and many
other ailments. However, its chief use was as a powerful
contraceptive! The explanation for its high value is best
understood as a means to prevent pregnancy. Even though the
ancients were aware of related plants such as pennyroyal, some
of the teas and potions made from silphium were said to be the
most effective forms of birth-control at the time.
Soranus, antiquity’s
foremost gynecologist,
wrote, “To some people it
seems advisable once during
the month to drink Cyrenaic
balm (silphium) to the
amount of a chick-pea in
two cyaths of water for the
purpose of inducing
menstruation… these things
not only prevent conception,
but also destroy any already
existing” (Soranus of
Ephesus, Gynecology, 63).
Soranus believed silphium
to have both preventative
and abortive properties. Pliny the Elder also wrote, “The leaves
of silphium are used in medicine to purge the uterus and to bring
away the dead unborn baby,” and that the extract from seeds
called laser were “used as a pessary (vaginal suppository) to
promote menstruation” (Pliny Natural History, XLVIII, XLIX).
Could this use of silphium be the motivation to use its fruit and
seed pod to represent a symbol of love?
There are several references to this once rare and now
extinct fennel in historic poetry. One narrative written by
Catullus over 2000 years ago provides some interesting insight.
While describing his adulterous relationship, Catullus’ lover asks
how many kisses it will take to satisfy him:
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~ 28 ~
You ask, my Lesbia, how many of your kisses are
enough and more than enough for me? As big a
number as the Libyan grains of sand that lie at
silphium producing Cyrene between the oracle of
Sultry Jupiter and the sacred tome of old Battus
(Carmen 7; Gaius Valerius Catullus).
In other words, Catullus’ desire for Lesbia would never
wane, and he believed their adulterous relationship would go
undetected as long as they had silphium! The contraceptive
qualities of its sap would allow for them to have intercourse
again and again without the chance of becoming pregnant. Thus,
no tangible evidence of their affair would ever result.
Despite the many references to silphium’s use as a
method of birth control, some speculate if it truly was effective in
this way. The speculation prompted a 1963 study which found
that asefitida, a relative of silphum, was an effective
contraceptive for humans. Other laboratory experiments found
that various species of ferula, similar varieties of giant fennel,
inhibited implantation of fertilized ova when ingested by
laboratory animals. Regardless of what can be known by modern
science, we will never be sure about silphium’s contraceptive
properties. The value of this plant became so great that the people
of Cyrene harvested it to extinction by the 1st century A.D. There
is not so much as a leaf to be found today.
The final transformation securing the widespread
popularity of the heart shape took place during the 5th century
A.D. when monastic illustrators, inspired by the art of antiquity,
portrayed trees of life with heart shaped leaves on them. In the
12th and 13th centuries heart shaped ivy leaves appeared in love
scenes and shortly after that they began to color them red, the
color of blood, signifying good luck, health, and passion.
Today both children and adults freely use this symbol not
knowing where it came from or what it truly means. Silphium is
the likely candidate for its origin. As a contraceptive to avoid the
consequences of extramarital sex, and a fruit some believe
portrayed aspects of the female body, it may have become a
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~ 29 ~
symbol for desire. This sort of unrestricted sexual behavior is the
type of activity observed in pagan festivals that gave rise to our
modern Valentine’s Day.
Even after reading this information, some may continue to
believe that there is no harm in observing Valentine’s Day or
playfully using the symbol portraying a human heart. Many
strongly feel that the heart shape has become an acceptable sign
of affection and love. With this in mind, consider what God says
about attempts to redefine evil:
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who
put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put
bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20).
The Greek goddess Aphrodite was considered by her
worshippers to be beautiful all over, but many believed that
her buttocks were particularly stunning. Her cheeks were so
appreciated that the Greeks built a temple to her and called
it Venus Aphrodite Kallipygos, which meant “Venus of the
beautiful buttocks.” The month of April is named after this
idol and the first day of this month is widely known as April
fool’s day—a time when people playfully lie to their friends
in an attempt to make them the butt of jokes.
Imbolc and Groundhog’s Day
Interestingly, the neo-pagans of today still celebrate an
ancient festival in the month of February known as Imbolc in the
west or Oimelc in the east. Imbolc is a festival of light reflecting
the lengthening of the day and the hope of spring. It is one of the
eight solar holidays, festivals, or sabbats of the neo-pagan wheel
of the year and is celebrated on either the 1st or 2nd of February,
the 2nd being more popular in America. Notice the similarities
between Imbolc, the Lupercalia, and Candlemas.
The holiday of Imbolc is a festival of light and many
candles or lamps are used during its rituals. The deities of Imbolc
are virgin/maiden goddesses such as Brighid, Aradia, Athena,
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
Inanna, Gaia, and Februa. They also include the gods of love and
fertility such as, Aengus Og, Eros, and Februus. Those deities
marked in bold are also associated with the Lupercalia and
Valentine’s Day. In addition, the Catholic festival of Candlemas
is also festivals of light using a great number of candles. The
symbolism of Imbolc is: Purity, growth, and renewal, the
reunion of the goddess and the god, fertility and dispensing of
the old and making way for the new. These symbols are also
indicative of both Candlemas and the Lupercalia. It would be
hard to imagine that these neo-pagan festivals have nothing in
common with the festivals of old. Ralph Whitlock in his book A
Calendar of Country Customs stated:
In Britain, Candlemas was held to mark a milestone in
the return of the sun. The length of the days are
increasing; Katharine Briggs says that candles were
lighted to strengthen the power of the sun (p. 29).
This statement shows the similarity in modern pagan
practice and professing Christian custom. Surprisingly, this also
leads to another branch of the pagan tree celebrated mostly in
America known as Groundhog’s Day. Written in 1937, George
William Douglas explained the theory and origin of Groundhog’s
Day stating:
In the early part of this present century a group of
merry wags living in and around Quarryville,
Lancaster, Pa., organized the Slumbering Groundhog
Lodge. On the morning of February 2 its members don
silk hats and carry canes and go into the fields seeking
the burrow of a woodchuck. When one finds a burrow
he calls to the others and they all assemble to await the
awakening of the animal from his hibernation and his
emergence into the outer air. They watch his behavior
and then return to the village where they interpret his
actions and report them to the public (The American
Book of Days, p. 78-79).
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Our modern celebration is centered on a time when the
groundhog comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep. If the
rodent sees its shadow it supposedly regards it as an omen of six
more weeks of bad weather and returns to its hole. If the day is
filled with clouds and shadow-less, he supposedly takes that as a
sign that spring is near and he stays above ground.
It is ridiculous for people to use this kind of superstition
to forecast future events and plan their lives. Compare this
supposed foretelling of future events to an age-old European
poem whose author is unknown.
If Candlemas Day be dry and fair, half the winter’s to
come, and mair; if Candlemas Day be wet and foul, the
half of winters gone to Yule; If Candlemas Day be fair
and bright, Winter will have another flight; if
Candlemas Day be shower and rain, Winter is gone
and will not come again.
The groundhog tradition stems from similar beliefs found
in both the pagan Imbolc and the Catholic Candlemas
observances. Candlemas is clearly rooted in the Lupercalia and
the Catholics refuse to admit it, but Imbolc makes no pretense
that its origin is anything other than pagan. This transference of
festivals has blinded and confused people leading them further
away from the truth and deeper into customs, rituals, and
celebrations that originate in the worship of false gods. God does
not approve of such a practice. In fact He condemns it!
While the origin of all these observances is clearly wrong,
some may think that there is no harm in observing our modern
Valentine’s Day. Some may even believe that its original
meaning has no influence on us as a modern society, and now it
is a sweet and wholesome symbol of affection.
In like manner the Roman Catholic Church may have
thought they too were doing a good deed for the people by
adopting pagan practices and giving them a more Christian look
and feel. They certainly believed it was a political necessity in
order to deal with the increasing numbers of heathen entering the
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
~ 32 ~
church. They may have felt it was wise to transfer and transform
these pagan festivals into “Christian” appearing celebrations, but
the Eternal says:
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And
prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:21).
What Should You Do?
When Christ walked this earth He prophesied of many
future events. One such prophecy explains how false teachers
would claim that they represent Christ, but they would lead
people astray. Our Savior stated:
Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will
come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will
deceive many (Matthew 24:4-5).
Christ was not speaking of people who would come
claiming that they were the Messiah. He was telling His followers
to beware because MANY would come and profess that Jesus was
the Messiah, but they would use their claim as a means to deceive
others. The deception would convince many that they were
teaching the true ways of the Savior, but they would mix evil with
good and by so doing would preach a false gospel about Christ,
but not the true meaning of the gospel that Jesus preached.
This is precisely what has occurred. False teachers have
brought damnable heresies like the celebration of Saint
Valentine’s Day into Christianity. They have convinced billions
that Sunday supersedes God’s Sabbath, and they have replaced
God’s commandments with traditions of men! The Apostle Peter
spoke of such heresy during his time, stating:
But there were also false prophets among the people,
even as there will be false teachers among you, who
will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even
denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on
themselves swift destruction. And many will follow
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
~ 33 ~
their destructive ways, because of whom the way of
truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will
exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their
judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does
not slumber. For if God did not spare the angels who
sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them
into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah,
one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness,
bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and
turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes,
condemned them to destruction, making them an
example to those who afterward would live ungodly (2
Peter 2:1-6).
Events have occurred exactly as prophesied and those who
promote and observe such heresies are in danger of God’s
judgment! The tragedies during the time of Noah, and in the cities
of Sodom and Gomorrah, are examples to us of what is coming,
and how we must come out of the heresies of this world and not
partake of her sins (Rev. 18:4). We have a choice to make.
Follow the ways of God and His Word or follow the ways of the
heathen. And the Lord cries out to us saying “Learn not the way
of the heathen” (Jer. 10:2).
Is it really all that Bad?
Many would say that, even though this celebration came
from sinister sources, it means something different today. After
all, it is about love and affection. Isn’t that a good thing? How
could it be wrong to observe something that was once evil, but
now appears to be good? The Apostle Paul addressed such a
question when false ministers were coming into the Church at
Corinth and leading people astray. He wrote:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers,
transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And
no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself
into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
~ 34 ~
his ministers also transform themselves into ministers
of righteousness, whose end will be according to their
works (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
If you were to meet Satan or one of his demons on the
street today, they would not appear as some hideous monster with
horns, scales, claws, and fang-like teeth. They would probably be
handsome, polite, and friendly—someone you might consider
sharing a cup of coffee with. Most people have no idea how great
a deceiver Satan can be. The Scriptures state that he has actually
deceived the whole world (Rev. 12:9). It should be of no surprise
that the celebrations he promotes appear to us as beautiful, fun,
and good.
We must not be fooled by the pageantry. We must use
truth and biblically proven ethics to put up a defense against the
wiles of the devil (Eph, 6:11; 1Ths. 5:21). We cannot be divided
in our obedience and our loyalty. If we claim to believe in Jesus
Christ then it is our duty to strive for the faith once delivered to
the saints (Jude 3). We cannot serve other gods no matter how
long ago they were worshipped. We must make a choice between
that which is good and that which merely appears to be good. The
prophet Elijah made this point clear stating:
How long will you falter between two opinions? If the
LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him (1
Kings 18:21).
We cannot mix the ways of God and the ways of the devil.
When we are presented with the truth, we have to make a decision
and choose between the two. Indecision leads to a half-hearted
and lukewarm faith; something the Lord detests (Rev. 3:16). The
Apostle Paul also made this point clearly stating:
The things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice
to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to
have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the
cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
~ 35 ~
partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons
(1 Corinthians 10:20-21).
The way of God does not mix with the ways of devils. We
are not to partake of anything related to them and if we do—it
will greatly affect our relationship with the Eternal. There is
nothing holy or pure about holidays that are derived from pagan
festivals. Idolatrous activities cannot be turned into something
that is good. There is no place for them in the life of an individual
who claims to be Christian.
During the Apostle Paul’s ministry, some of the brethren
in the Church at Corinth were influenced by the heathen
atmosphere in which they lived. Paul exhorted them to not allow
the practices of unbelievers to become entangled in their ways.
Paul stated:
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.
For what fellowship has righteousness with
lawlessness? And what communion has light with
darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial?
Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And
what agreement has the temple of God with idols?
For you are the temple of the living God. As God has
said: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I
will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
Therefore “come out from among them and be
separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is
unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to
you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says
the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
The choice is clear. If we desire to follow God then we
must choose to live by His every word (Deu. 8:3; Mat. 4:4). Only
then will He accept us and be a Father unto us. We cannot mix the
ways of good with evil. Now is our chance to show God how we
really feel about Him and choose His way, the way that will lead
us to blessings and life (Deu. 30:19).
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
The Truth be Known
The truth about Valentine’s Day has been unmasked and
it is clear that our modern day observance is a lie! It is a
celebration dressed up in chocolate candy, decorative cards, and
love gone astray. It may seem that the basis for our modern
Valentine’s Day is of good intention, but as innocent as this
holiday may seem, its traditions originate from extremely
perverted customs and ideals. Our celebration of this day is an
abomination to God! It is continuing the ancient worship of false
gods and by keeping it we break the first and great
commandment.
When Israel left the pagan nation of Egypt and traveled to
the promised-land in Canaan, God warned them about those
heathen nations they would encounter and instructed them not to
do as they do. The great God instructs us also to not follow their
ways stating:
According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where
you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the
doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you,
you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their
ordinances. You shall observe My judgments and keep
My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the LORD your
God (Leviticus 18:3-4).
God has given us a perfect set of rules and instructions,
ones that are based on true love and wholesome values. In so
doing He has shown us the right way to love, the right way to live
and how to give good gifts expressing that love. Instead, mankind
has chosen a cheap imitation based upon lust not love. In fact, it
is not only the lust of the flesh, but a desire for that which is
ungodly. In accepting the practice of pagans as valid days to
keep, man is whoring after other gods that not only are inferior to
the true God, in reality they are not gods at all! The Almighty
warns against mixing heathen practice with our worship of Him
when He says:
~ 36 ~
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
Take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to
follow them… and that you do not inquire after their
gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?
I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the
LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to
the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods
(Deuteronomy 12:30-31).
God hates false gods and our man made festivals that honor
them. He also does not approve of changing their practice to
symbolize something that appears holy. Attempting to Christianize
heathen celebrations to be more acceptable in the eyes of men does
not make them acceptable to God. Those abominations will always
lead people further away from the truth.
God is not the author of confusion (1Cor. 14:33) and he
does not desire us to accept some inferior concept of love, for
God is love (1John 4:8).
True Love
Today millions of people celebrate Valentine’s Day and
yet they have no idea what true love is. Nearly half of marriages
end in divorce while adultery and fornication flourishes. A fifth
of all adolescents have sex before the age of 15. Biblical family
values are widely disregarded while people adopt a “new age”
way of thinking that really comes from pagan ways of old.
According to the entertainment industry love is equivalent to lust,
but sexual relations are a wonderful gift reserved for wedlock.
True love is something that cannot be gained by copulation, a
valentine card, or a box of chocolates once a year. Inspired by the
Almighty, Paul expresses the terms of love stating:
Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or
boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist
on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does
not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,
endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, RSV).
~ 37 ~
The Truth about Valentine’s Day .
These are beautiful words revealing the true expressions
and meaning of love. The attributes of love are admirable and
should be sought after. Love is something that must be worked at
and these qualities will often come natural to those who
experience it. Love is a wonderful thing that makes life worth
living. It cannot be purchased in a box of chocolates or expressed
by saying “will you be my valentine?” once a year. Love is
something that is shown by the way we live and how we treat
each other every day, all year round, not just on February 14th
.
Even though many sincere couples may celebrate it, the whole
concept of Valentine’s Day cheapens the true meaning of love. It
brings the God plane relationship of sex between two loving
married partners down to the gutter level of plain lust and self
fulfillment. If you truly love someone, then you owe it to them to
not celebrate a day that mocks the true values of love and God.
Conclusion
Valentine’s Day has an ancient past rooted deep in
paganism, mythology, heathen ritual, and fairy tale. It is an
idolatrous celebration that condones depravity and offers a cheap
imitation of true love. Not only does God disapprove of this
practice—He condemns it! We must use the Word of God to
separate the evil from the good and only practice that which is
right. Our Lord cries out to us stating:
Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins,
and lest you receive of her plagues (Revelation 18:4).
No true Christian should partake of Valentine’s Day. We
must not only forsake the worship of false gods, but their
holidays passed down for generations. If we desire to follow
Christ then we must stop our observance of this day and come out
of the apostate system that condones these practices. We must
worship God in spirit and truth; not myth and fairy tale. The
answer is clear—the choice is ours.
~ 38 ~
The Eternal Church of God offers a variety of books, booklets,
articles, video, and audio to help people better understand God’s
Word and His plan for humanity. Some of the printed material
available includes:
The Truth about Easter
The Truth about Heaven
The Resurrection Was Not on Sunday!
The Truth about Halloween
The Truth about Christmas
Are the Ten Commandments Required Today?
Sabbath Confessions
The Truth about New Year’s Day
The Truth about Mardi Gras
The Truth about The Cross
Read the Book
The Truth about Smoking
The Eternal Church of God
P.O. Box 80248
Billings, MT 59108
U.S.A
eternalcog.org
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