VALENTINE’S DAY: DOES IT HAVE A PAGAN ORIGIN?

Fr Angelo Chidi Unegbu (14.02.2022)

I just wished someone a happy Valentine’s Day this morning but he told me immediately that his church does not celebrate Val because it comes from Lucifer. I have heard several reasons why people do not celebrate Val but this Lucifer connection, is “my new ear.” What I have heard mainly till now from Anti-Val people is that it has a pagan origin. For this same reason, some do not celebrate Christmas and so on because they have some non-Christian origins.

Funny enough, the same people who hold this view still go to church on Sundays or Saturdays but do not care to know that the name Sunday originated from the same “pagans” who worshipped their Sun-god that day. All the days of the week and most of the months of the year, as we have them today, were named after the deities of the Greco-Roman religions. Do we have to tell these people that even the concepts/words, such as: God, spirit, charity, love, grace, music, worship, meditation, sin and good also have pagan origins? Of course, they were already used by the so-called pagan religions before Christianity emerged.

Sadly, it is based on such mentality that some have also cut themselves off from their history and culture because, according to them, their forefathers who instituted the cultures, customs and traditions were pagans. Poor thinking!

Our duty as intelligent people is to prune our culture, traditions and historical events and not to uproot them. At the time of creation, God did not destroy the “shapeless” void, He rather put it in order. Lazy people easily abandon, destroy and uproot but intelligent and hard working people take time to study, prune, salvage and beautify. Even when humans became reckless, God did not abandon or destroy the fallen humanity. He rather redeemed it. Destruction is easy but redemption is difficult. Whether Valentine’s Day has a Christian or “pagan” origin is not what should bother us now. What should worry us is simply how to use a day like this to encourage true and genuine love.