The history of Valentine’s Day is not as certain and agreed upon by historians as other holidays. We'll present the facts that are know and the history that can be credibly proven!
There are several different theories about the origin of Valentine's Day,
which is also called "Saint Valentine's Day" or "the Feast of Saint
The ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia was celebrated from 13 to 15 February. The festival was a fertility celebration, so the connections to love, or at least, lust, are clear. Among other events which somehow fell by the wayside over the centuries, Roman men sacrificed goats, then used their skins to whip women, believing this would make the women fertile. And you thought your boyfriend or husband didn't get you a good Valentine's gift. Be glad your weren't around in Roman times...
When Christian Popes began to try to popularize Christianity in the Roman empire, they often did so by coopting pagan Roman holidays, such as Saturnalia and Christmas. Around 496 AD, Pope Gelasius Presumably saw the festival of Lupercalia as a good opportunity to turn this pagan festival into a Christian feast day by declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine's Day, in honor of a Catholic saint, who was martyred around 297 AD.
There are at least 2 or 3 different historical figures considered to be St. Valentine. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.
Most accounts agree St. Valentine was martyred and then buried on the Via Flaminia to the north of Rome.
Archaeologists unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to St. Valentine, so we know he really did exist. And in 496 AD Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom.