Valentine’s Day: Then and now

A look into the origin of a sweet holiday and some even sweeter memories.

Gianna Scotto, Staff Member

Valentines Day: A day either adored or despised by many — a holiday that is all about love, but is not always seen as that. The origin of the holiday suggests it is more about cheesy gifts and movies. 

Valentine’s Day starts with St. Valentine, a Catholic martyr. St. Valentine was a Christian priest who was executed around 270 A.D. His crime? Marrying Christian couples. Since Christianity was still frowned upon in Rome, it was still hard for Catholic couples to be wed, but he did it, for love.

St. Valentine was in jail before his death when he supposedly fell in love. His lover was possibly a daughter of a prison warden.

The two lovers exchanged notes and in these notes he would sign, “From Your Valentine”: a phrase now used to sign modern day love notes during the holiday season. Valentine’s Day love notes have evolved from a prison love note to a timeless tradition that has been a staple of the holiday we now celebrate. 

A display in Mount’s science hallways informing Mounties of some interesting heart facts.

“Every Valentine’s Day I wake up to balloons and cards from my family members. My mom gets my brother and I little stuffed animals and chocolates. It’s a special day to express our love and gratitude to each other,” Gianna Piroso ‘24 said, reminiscing on her Valentine’s Day traditions. 

However, the first known celebration of Valentine’s Day was a pagan festival despite the holiday having Catholic origins. The festival was one of the many ancient ways to promote fertility among women. 

“My favorite thing about Valentine’s Day has to be the Sweet Tart heart-shaped lollipops — they make the holiday so much better,” Annie Shields ‘23 said referring to her favorite part of Valentine’s Day. 

To some of us Valentine’s Day might be pointless, but it can be a sweet tradition that shows that no one has a candy heart.