Who Is St. Valentine? The Real History of Valentine's Day


Valentine's Day is a time to love and to feel loved. But who was St. Valentine, and why do we celebrate Valentine's Day?

The history of Valentine's Day is actually debated, and no one is 100% sure which story is true about why we celebrate it. The most common story behind Valentine's Day is a bit dark, but despite the questionable history, today we celebrate it to show love to those that mean the most in our lives. Whether that's your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, fiance, or even a family member like your mom, Valentine's Day is the perfect day to set aside time for those you love.

Who Is St. Valentine?

One of the more interesting Valentine's Day facts is that two people in history have the name, St. Valentine. The person that is the main reason we celebrate St. Valentine's day is referred to as St. Valentine of Rome. While the history isn't perfect, some accounts show him as a Roman priest and physician that was martyred around 270 AD because he would not renounce his faith. He has been venerated as a saint since 496 AD and he is the patron saint of couples, happy marriages, love, lovers, beekeepers, and epileptics.

Because of his popularity for such a long time as a Saint, relics of St. Valentine can be found around the world. His skull is in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome, and in 1836 other relics were found in the catacombs of Saint Hippolytus on the Via Tiburtina and were attributed to Valentine. There are relics from St. Valentine in Dublin, Ireland; Prague, Czech Republic; Roquemaure, France; Stephansdom, Vienna; Glasgow, Scotland; and even in Balzan, Malta.

Who Started Valentine's Day?

The first record of celebrating St. Valentine's Day is from the English poet and author, Geoffery Chaucer. Chaucer wrote a poem called “Parliament of Fowls” which is about birds celebrating St. Valentine's day and trying to find their mates at the temple of Venus. Each bird makes its case as to why they should be picked as a spouse in front of Nature. Some birds succeed in getting married, while others are allowed to walk away without a mate.

This poem is seen as the first Valentine's Day poem, and some even argue that it is because of this poem that people started celebrating Valentine's Day more, giving Chaucer credit for popularizing Valentine's Day.

Officially Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD set aside February 14th as the Feast of Saint Valentine, but that does not mean it was strictly followed or celebrated by the public. Some people simply saw days celebrating saints like they are random national days. Just because February 7th is set as National Periodic Table Day, doesn't mean that it is widely recognized or celebrated. This is most likely what also happened with Valentine's Day when it was first introduced by the pope.

The Real History of St. Valentine's Day

When Pope Gelasius I founded St. Valentine's Day, it was most likely not in celebration of St. Valentine, but instead an attempt to replace the pagan holiday,Lupercalia.Lupercalia was a sexually-charged celebration complete with animal sacrifice, nudity and promiscuity. The two celebrations have little to do with each other, and Valentine's Day was used to reduce the attention on Lupercalia.

How We Celebrate Valentine's Day Today


No matter who started Valentine's Day, or what used to happen to celebrate it, we now have our own traditions and expectations as part of this special day. When we celebrate Valentine's Day, we give the people we love gifts that symbolize our love for them. This is often in the form of food, candy, chocolates, flowers, or jewelry. Valentine's Day is also one of the most popular days to get engaged.With a day centered around love and long-lasting relationships, it makes sense that it would be the perfect day for couples to choose to stay with each other.

Romantic love isn't the only reason you should celebrate Valentine's Day. Friends and family can also be celebrated for the role they play. They aren't the love of your life, but a supportive friend that has always been there for you deserves some recognition too.

Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day


It can be tricky trying to find the best Valentine's Day present. You want to be able to show how much the person means to you, but at the same time, you don't want to waste money or get them something that they wear once or twice that gets put away to collect dust.


You might think that diamonds are only for wedding and engagement rings, but our Love Song collection is made just to show her how much you care. With a wide variety of diamond necklaces, earrings, and promise rings with embedded pink sapphire, these styles match with a wide variety of personal styles and are perfect to wear for any occasion.


If you are looking to make your Valentine's Day a bit more special and are looking for an engagement ring, our Signature Diamond Collection gives you exquisite elegance that your soon to be fiance will love for the rest of her life.


If you're on a budget, you can still get your loved one a beautiful piece of jewelry they will cherish forever. Get a beautiful diamond, heart necklace, or indulge her love of Disney with our Disney Collection with lovely and affordable pieces to suit your budget.


Ladies, you might be expecting a perfect necklace or pair of earrings from Daniels Jewelers for Valentine's Day, but what are you getting your boyfriend or husband? He deserves to know that he's loved too. Consider getting him a Wittnauer watch. With sleek, classy designs, these watches are timeless ways for him to know that you love him just as much as he loves you.

Make Valentine's Day Memorable

Even if St. Valentine is a combination of two people with the name Valentine, and there might be a complicated history of Valentine's Day and why we celebrate it as a holiday, our modern traditions have changed February 14th to mean so much more. No longer do we focus on a martyred saint-rather we focus on those we love, and make one day a little bit more special than the other 364 days we are with them.

Celebrate Valentine's day right this year by giving the people you love most a personalized and meaningful piece of jewelry from Daniel's Jewelers. Complete a credit application to start financing on your Valentine's Day gifts today. Daniel's Jewelers is here to make sure that this year will be one they never forget.

To Top