. Make a Donation

Index Page
About The Author
Bible Quiz
Holy Day Calendar
Free Online Bibles
Bible Reading Plan

Quick Search the thousands of Bible studies on this website.
Just type in topic word(s) or a question.
Get Daily Bible Study on Facebook
Get Daily Bible Study on Twitter
Tuesday, February 14 2012

Who Were Valentine And Cupid?

Every year, millions of people, many of whom regard themselves as Christian, participate in "Valentine's Day," which has generally come to mean "a day, observed on February 14, for the exchange of tokens of affection."

But how and when did the observance originate? And what about the other things involved, such as "cupid"?

"Valentine's Day" began with the Church of Rome. As its full-original and still commonly-used name, "Saint Valentine's Day," plainly states, it originated as a Roman Catholic Church "saint" holiday (as have others, such as their bishop known as Saint Nicholas - see the Fact Finder question below), but like most man-made "holy days" of the present, it was actually not all that original - it can be found deep in bizarre Babylonian, Greek and Roman idolatry and paganism (even some of the Church of Rome's own original imagery for Saint Valentine and Saint Valentine's Day is bizarre, as shown in the example).

As its name also plainly states, the Church of Rome is exactly that - it was created as the official state religion of the Roman Empire after one of their Emperors, Constantine, claimed to convert to Christianity (all that he really did was to put a "Christian" label on his old Roman sun-god religion; see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad and listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).

Valentine The name Valentine was relatively common during a particular era of ancient Rome. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, three Roman emperors were known by the name: Valentinian I (reigned 364-375), Valentinian II (reigned 375-392) and Valentinian III (reigned 425-455). As well, there were two Church of Rome "martyrs" by the name of Valentine, one a priest, the other a bishop, who died in the internal power struggle between the Emperors and their local bishop, in Rome.

In 496, Pope Gelasius I established a Roman festival in commemoration of their "saint" Valentine (one or both of them). The February 14 festival date chosen by the pope did not however correspond with the birth, death or any other significant event of the lives of either of the Valentines. "Valentine's Day" (as it later became known), was already being observed by the pagan Romans. Again, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

"St. Valentine's Day as a lovers' festival and the modern tradition of sending Valentine cards have no relation to the saints but, rather, seem to be connected either with the fertility festival of the Lupercalia [note: Lupercalia replaced an earlier pagan Roman spring festival, known as Februa - from which the Roman month of February got its name] or with the seasonal mating of birds."

What about "cupid" - the Roman "god of desire" from which the word erotic originated (from its Greek name Erotes)? The information is freely and widely available, and easily verified - including this general article about "Cupid" in Wikipedia:

"In Roman mythology, Cupid (Latin cupido, meaning "desire") is the god of desire, affection and erotic love. He is often portrayed as the son of the goddess Venus, with a father rarely mentioned. His Greek counterpart is Eros. Cupid is also known in Latin as Amor ("Love"). The Amores (plural) or amorini in the later terminology of art history are the equivalent of the Greek Erotes.

Although Eros appears in Classical Greek art as a slender winged youth, during the Hellenistic period he was increasingly portrayed as a chubby boy. During this time, his iconography acquired the bow and arrow that remain a distinguishing attribute; a person, or even a deity, who is shot by Cupid's arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire. The Roman Cupid retains these characteristics, which continue in the depiction of multiple cupids in both Roman art and the later classical tradition of Western art.

In Latin literature, Cupid's ability to compel love and desire plays an instigating role in several myths or literary scenarios. In Vergil's Aeneid, Cupid prompts Dido to fall in love with Aeneas, with tragic results. Ovid makes Cupid the patron of love poets. Cupid is a central character, however, in only the traditional tale of Cupid and Psyche, as told by Apuleius.

Cupid was a continuously popular figure in the Middle Ages, when under Christian influence he often had a dual nature as Heavenly and Earthly love, and in the Renaissance, when a renewed interest in classical philosophy endowed him with complex allegorical meanings. In contemporary popular culture, Cupid is shown shooting his bow to inspire romantic love, often as an icon of Valentine's Day."
(from the "Cupid" article in Wikipedia, February 13 2012)

"Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen"

There is nothing more Godly than love because God is love i.e. "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."

The Holy Scriptures

"4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us." (1 John 4:7-12 KJV)

The Commandments of God are based upon love.

"22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.

22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV)

But Godly love does not use heathen festivals to express love. Heathenism isn't merely a sin in itself; it's a means of committing sin.

"10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen" (Jeremiah 10:2 KJV)

5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matthew 5:28 KJV)

"4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful." (Mark 4:19 KJV)

"8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:43-44 KJV)

As stated above, the Roman festival of "Valentines Day" was connected "with the seasonal mating of birds." That sort of deviation is exactly what is described in the Scriptures about those who "changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man and to birds."

"1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen." (Romans 1:22-25 KJV)

Fact Finder: What other non-Christian "Christian" holidays originated from Roman "saints"?
See Could Santa Claus Have Become The Pope? and Burning In Hell: Is Halloween Worth It?

Bible Quiz Daily Bible Study Library
Thousands of Studies!

Jesus Christ
Bible History
Christian Living
Eternal Life
By The Book
Bible Places
The Spirit World

This Day In History, February 14

842: Charles the Bald and Louis the German swore the Oaths of Strasbourg.

1014: Pope Benedict VIII crowned Henry II as Holy Roman Emperor (see The Holy Roman Empire).

1076: Pope Gregory VII excommunicated Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor (see Emperors and Popes).

1349: 2,000 Jews were burned at the stake in Strasbourg, Germany.

1400: The deposed King Richard II died "under suspicious circumstances" in Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire.

1658: The Battle of Bahadurgarh; it helped to decide the war of succession among the sons of Shah Jahan, Mughal emperor of India.

1779: British explorer Captain James Cook was killed in Hawaii.

1797: The British fleet, under Admirals John Jervis and Horatio Nelson, defeated the Spanish at the battle of St. Vincent off Portugal.

1804: Karadjordje led the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

1876: Inventors Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray applied separately for U.S. patents related to the telephone. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled that Bell was the rightful inventor.

1879: The War of the Pacific began between Chile and Bolivia.

1896: Der Judenstaat ("The Jewish State" - see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism) by Theodor Herzl was published in Vienna; English and French translations soon followed.

1922: Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi began the first regular radio broadcasting transmission from England.

1929: The "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" in Chicago. Al Capone's gunmen, in order to prevent the hijacking of whiskey shipments, killed 7 members of the Bugs Moran gang in a Chicago garage.

1939: The German navy launched the battleship Bismarck.

1942: The German Afrika Korps was organized under the command of Lt. Gen. (later Field Marshall) Irwin Rommel. It consisted of two armored divisions and one motorized infantry division. After initial successes, the Afrika Korps was defeated by British and Canadian forces under Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.

1944 The Mark I, the first computer that could perform arithmetical operations without human intervention, was completed by inventor Howard Aiken. It was 51 feet long, 8 feet high, and weighed 35 tons. It had about 500 miles of wire and 3 million connections.

1946: An "electronic brain", or "computer", began working at the University of Pennsylvania, taking seconds to do calculations which normally took hours. It was called ENIAC, or Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer.

1946: The Bank of England was nationalized.

1947: British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin announced that Britain was turning the "Palestine situation" over to the United Nations.

1949: The first session of the Constituent Assembly (later entitled the Knesset) of the new state of Israel was opened (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate and A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism).

1958: The Arab Union, a federation of Jordan and Iraq, was formed to counter the formation of the United Arab Republic by Egypt and Syria 2 weeks earlier. King Hussein of Jordan dissolved it August 2 of that same year.

1971: President Richard Nixon installed a secret taping system in the White House - the recordings of which later provided much of the evidence that brought down his presidency.

1989: Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini ordered a worldwide death sentence for writer Salman Rushdie for his book "The Satanic Verses (see also Has Another Haman Arisen?).

1992: The European Community and the seven-nation European Free Trade Association struck a final deal, clearing the way for the creation of the world's biggest single free market, exceeding that of the combined markets of the United States and Canada.


Copyright © Wayne Blank