I know, for many people, Valentine’s Day is just another excuse for retailers to increase sales. However, in the Anglican/Episcopal and Lutheran Churches, Saint Valentine’s Day is recognized as a feast day. The Eastern Orthodox Church also recognizes it, but on two separate days in July.
St. Valentine’s Day commemorates Valentinus, who “was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire; during his imprisonment, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer Asterius” (“Valentine’s Day”).
St. Valentine’s Day became associated with love when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote, in 1382:
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
[“For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day/When every bird cometh there to choose his mate.”] (“Valentine’s Day”)
More relevant to Pagans is the fact that the Roman festival of Lupercalia was celebrated from Feb. 13 – 15. Lupercalia was a festival that purified the city and drove out evil spirits, while attracting health and fertility (“Lupercalia”). It is unclear if Lupercalia is actually related to St. Valentine’s Day.
In any case, some Pagans embrace the modern phenomenon of Valentine’s Day–a day to show those you love how much you love them. Focus is often put on romance and doing something special with one’s significant other (if they have one). Because of this, Valentine’s Day is a day for these Pagans to honor Goddesses of love, like Aphrodite and Venus.
My personal observances of Valentine’s Day include using salts in honor of love and Freyja, Who oversees the realm of love, in a relaxing bath with candles and making some special treats for my fiance. I also plan to honor Freyja as Lady of love with an offering.
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?
Wikipedia contributors. “Lupercalia.” 30 January 2013. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 14 February 2013. Web.
—. “Valentine’s Day.” 14 February 2013. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 14 February 2013. Web.