The Herald of Jehovah's Kingdom
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Themes Archive

 
Origin of Valentine's Day
 
    February 14, or Valentine’s Day is coming soon. And with it there come all the other stuffs specific to all holidays so-called „christian”. Besides, we can see the coming of this holiday in the multitude of the little hearts which have appeared for sale, like little pillows, mugs, candles, postcards, flowers, gifts of different sorts, etc.
    It is very true that those „christians” who celebrate this holiday, might say: „what is so wrong in celebrating a day of love? Didn’t say Jesus Christ that we should love one another?” Is this holiday just that about? Is this normal for a christian to have a different kind of life in certain days and in the others, his way of life doesn’t matter? Are christians really asked to celebrate this holiday?
    Is this celebration truly agreeable to God and does He really request it? Does this holiday bring us closer to God and the spirit of truth or it lead us towards the ruined world’s spirit, in passions, vices, idolatry, riot and other features of the darkness?
    If one digs through the centuries of traditional overgrowth that has accumulated around the celebration of February 14, known as Valentine's Day, one uncovers the fact that it too, like so many other of Christendom's holidays, had its origin in pagan mythology and devil-worship. The discovery may he disconcerting to some, but an honest person wants to know the truth even though at first it hurts.
    The early Greeks, who believed that the deity Pan was the god of the flocks and shepherds, laid the foundation for Valentine's Day. Concerning Pan's origin one of the Greek myths says that when born he was full-grown, with horns, beard and tail. His crooked nose and goat's feet, and the fact that he was covered with hair, so frightened his own mother that she fled at the first sight of him. His terrific voice made him a lover of noise and riot; the arts picture him as a voluptuous, dancing and sensual creature. This much is learned from Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
    Webster's New International Dictionary further explains that with the rise of the Roman Empire this Greek god Pan became identified by the Romans as Faunus. Like the Greeks, they believed that this god had a goatish appearance, was very sexual, and was the one who guarded the fruitfulness of animal life. Lupercus was another name for this Roman god, and Luperca, his wife, in the form of a she-wolf, was supposed to have nursed Romulus and Remus, the founders and builders of Rome. The priests that served in the temple of this demon god were known as Luperci. Clothed only in goatskins, these priests, in the middle of February, circled the Palatine Hill, upon which Rome was built, and struck with goatskin thongs all women they met, in the belief that it would insure them fertility and easy delivery.
    "It is generally agreed," writes D. R. Barton in Natural History, that Valentine's Day ''stems from the pagan rites comprising the Lupercalia, a collection of ceremonies for the most part calculated to conjure fertility and easy delivery among women, which, in ancient Rome, were celebrated each February in honor of the deities, Pan and Juno Februata". There were other mystic and sexual rites attending this ancient festival wherein young women were given to men by a sort of lottery. The names of the girls were shaken up in a box and drawn by the men as chance directed. Of course, all of this went on for many centuries before the so-called Valentine "saints" were born.
    In his Illustrations of Shakespeare, Mr. Douce points out that when the clergy of the Catholic church began taking over the control of Rome they absorbed these pagan Luperealia superstitions the same as they did practically all the other pre-Christian feasts. New names were given the pagan customs in an effort to overlay them with a certain Christian respectability. Later the game was enlarged by letting the girls in turn draw the names of the boys out of the box. "A similar custom” says M'Clintock and Strong's Cyclopedia, "was followed throughout Europe on the eve of February 14 until recently, the person chosen becoming Valentine to the one choosing for a year."
    In their effort to transmute this appendage of demon-worship to the use of the church the Hierarchy renamed the occasion after one of their "saints" called Valentine. (See Lives of the Saints, by Rev. Alban Butler.) The particular Valentine whose honor it was to have a pagan celebration named after him is not made clear by the records. Stadler-Ginal in the Heiligenlexicon enumerates at least fifty-two St. Valentines. The Catholic Encyclopedia boils the list down to a probable three, but is unable to pin it on any particular one.
    During the Middle Ages Valentine's Eve and the day following were celebrated with much the same frolicking that marked the original pagan festival. French and English literature of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries mentioned it as an occasion specially consecrated to lovers, it being considered the time of year when the birds did their mating. The many superstitions believed at that time show the demonic character of the celebration. Valentine buns, resembling hot cross buns, were used, and Hislop's The Two Babylons establishes the fact that the use of these stems from ancient Chaldean idolatry.
    Carrying along the pagan sentiments of the occasion are the many poems and essays written to glorify the February love-feasting. For example, Charles Lamb once wrote: „Hail to the returning festival, old Bishop Valentine! Great is thy name in the rubric, Thou venerable arch flamen of Hymen.” A flamen of Hymen would be a pagan priest of Hymen, the god of marriage. Then there is more paganism in the form of Cupid, the god of fertility pictured as a winged boy or youth, who supposedly personifies human love in its physical form or force. The introduction of Valentine cards during the last century dressed up the sentiments of the old mythologies in lace trimmings and set them in verse.
    More recently the festival has degenerated into a burlesque on love. Ridiculous and hideous caricatures called "comic Valentines" are used, with as many as 6,000,000 sold in a year. No longer is the festival reserved for those, of puberty, but it is now an occasion for much merry-making by the children. Nevertheless, the celebration of Valentine's day has not changed in its basic pagan purpose. It continues on the religious calendar as a form of devil-worship in name, form and practice. Valentine's Day is a dishonor to Almighty God.
    There’s no hard to understand, only if we do not want to, that this holiday dedicated to „Saint Valentine” is rooted in paganism. The Greek christian writers of Scripture don’t mention this celebration in any of their writings. Let’s follow apostle Paul’s words: „But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have communion with demons. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons; Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?” „And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols?” – 1 Corinthians 10:20-22; 2 Corinthians 6:15, 16.
    Also, there is no record in Gospels or in the other Greek Scriptures to assert that Jesus Christ or any of His faithful disciples have ever celebrated this day. Only pagans were those who followed such idolatrous practices. The Christians from the old time were right to reject such pagan celebrations. Truly Christians will reject them, too. They will do this because they agree with apostle Peter, who’s warning us, at 1 Peter 4:3, by the words: „For the time past may suffice to have wrought the desire of the Gentiles” . Those who are professing to be Christians, should study God’s Word, that is the Bible, examine all things to assure themselves that all they do, or they are going to do, is in harmony with God’s will and it’s pleasing Him. „prove what is well-pleasing unto the Lord and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them!” – Ephesians 5:10, 11.
    Having these evidence, a christian will certainly know what attitude he should take!