BANGOR – Flowers, chocolates, hearts and love are all things associated with Valentine’s Day. But who is the person, or people behind the holiday of romance?
The day of love is named after the Catholic St. Valentine.
“St. Valentine was probably more than one person,” said Husson University Professor of Ethics and Humanities Dr. Cliff Guthrie. “There’s a number of ancient legends about various people named St. Valentine in the early church. We’re talking like the third or fourth century.”
Dr. Cliff Guthrie spent nearly two decades studying and teaching theological education. He says every story involving a St. Valentine revolves around the same thing; a faithful christian martyr performing miracles before he was put to death.
“He got put on the Calendar of Saints in the early church on February 14 as a result of these stories but there was no association with love,” said Guthrie.
Then how did we get this modern-day version of the holiday? Dr. Guthrie says it could be from an old folk tradition.
“It may have been Geoffrey Chaucer, the great poet of the 14th century, who brought these elements together and wrote a poem called the Parliaments of Fowls or the Parliaments of Birds in which he talks about all the different kinds of birds all choosing their mates on Valentine’s day,” said Guthrie.
He also added that whatever the origins are, Valentine’s Day serves as another early spring celebration to remind us that winter is temporary and warmer weather is on the way.