It’s Feb. 14, the day many celebrate as Valentine’s Day, But what does it mean? This day has been celebrated as a day of love, at least to some. How did this day get its name?
Let’s look into the history of Feb. 14.
The modern St. Valentine's Day celebrations are said to have been derived from both ancient Christian and Roman tradition. As per one legend, the holiday has originated from the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalis/Lupercalia, a fertility celebration that used to observed annually on Feb. 15. But the rise of Christianity in Europe saw many pagan holidays being renamed for and dedicated to the early Christian martyrs. Lupercalia was no exception. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius turned Lupercalia into a Christian feast day and set its observance a day earlier, on February 14. He proclaimed February 14 to be the feast day in honor of Saint Valentine, a Roman martyr who lived in the 3rd century. It is this St. Valentine whom the modern Valentine's Day honors.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there were at least three early Christian saints by the name of Valentine. While one was a priest in Rome, another was a bishop in Terni. Nothing is known about the third St. Valentine except that he met his end in Africa. Surprisingly, all three of them were said to have been martyred on Feb. 14.
So how did this day turn into the day of love?
Feb. 14 became a day for all lovers, and Valentine became its Patron Saint. It began to be annually observed by young Romans who offered handwritten greetings of affection, known as Valentines, on this day to the women they admired. With the coming of Christianity, the day came to be known as St. Valentine's Day.
But it was only during the 14th century that St. Valentine's Day became definitively associated with love.
Speaking about Roman tradition brings me to the subject of Nikki Minaj. Minaj's performance during the Grammy Awards outraged the Catholic League. Ok, She may not have been the one to anger Super Bowl viewers with the flip of her finger, but she did manage to upset the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights with her performance.
She started out by walking the red carpet arm-in-arm with a man dressed as the pope. Her performance then began with her singing a strange version of “I Feel Pretty” while pretending to be in a Catholic church confessional. Minaj acted out a mock exorcism for the audience after introducing her song, “Roman Holiday”
Was this suppose to be Minaj way of bringing in Valentine’s Day?
In a statement, Catholic League president Bill Donohue expressed his organization’s strong disapproval.
“Perhaps the most vulgar part was the sexual statement that showed a scantily clad female dancer stretching backwards while an altar boy knelt between her legs in prayer,” he said.
Donohue also targeted The Recording Academy for consenting to Minaj’s performance. He said that since the performance was planned, not an accident, the Grammy Awards is responsible.
He later go on to say they would never allow a artist to "insult Judaism or Islam.”