Valentine's Day History and Origin
While according to some the Valentine's Day celebration calls for the pagan tradition during the third century, the Europeans, on the other hand, believed that birds began to choose their mates on February 14th. It was by 1477 that the English associated lovers with the feast of Valentine with the belief that on this day "every bird chooses him a mate." The practice started off with men and women writing love notes to their Valentines on February 14th. But one thing that is very interesting about the origin of valentine's Day , is that many early Christian martyrs were named Valentine and it was not until 1969, that the eleventh Valentine's Day celebration was first recognised by the Catholic Church in the formal way and the Valentines honored on February 14th were the Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Although the Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and the Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae) had seperate entries in the ancient mythology, yet many scholars believed that they were the same persons.
Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae), who was a roman priest who suffered martyrdom about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia.
Valentine of Terni(Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae), who was a bishop of Interamna about AD 197. He was killed during the persecution of Emperor Aurelian and was also buried on the Via Flaminia.
Interestingly, the Catholic Encyclopedia has spoken of another saint named Vallentine, who was martyred in Africa along with his companions. His name had also been attached to this partricular date – February 14 th,, although no more information could be retrieved from any other sources.
One of the different theories about the history and origin of Valentine's Day celebrations is that the Romans used to have a custom where young boys drew the names of the girls in honor of Februata Juno – the Goddess of sex and fertility. As a matter of fact, the romans used to celebrate this custom during the middle of February. Pastors later baptised this holiday, by substituting the names of saints in order to suppress the practice. One of those saints was Saint Valentine. Other romance tradition are attached to with the feast of Valentine, including the practice of pinning the bay leaves to the pillow on the Valentine's eve with a belief that you may dream of your future soul mate that night.