Simple Truths About
By Kenneth Swiger
Just as soon as the stores have begun to remove their
Christmas paraphernalia, you will see hearts and flowers and
other signs of Valentine's Day littering the shelves. In the
weeks before February 14, retailers sell mountains of candy and
what seem to be whole forests of paper valentine cards. It is a
season of big business.
It is also a season of interest to individuals of all ages.
School children decorate their classrooms with paper hearts and
lace in preparation for the big day. Husbands and wives look for
cards which say just the right words. Young girls daydream about
special young men giving them flowers and candy on this
particular day. The elderly may look back fondly on the romance
of Valentine's Days past.
Millions of people around the world prepare for and
celebrate Valentine's Day. Where did all this tradition come
from? Is it all just innocent fun? Should Christians participate
in Valentine's Day?
Origins of St.Valentine's Day
You would expect that a celebration as widespread as
Valentine's Day would be well documented as to its origins,
wouldn't you? Yet, even the person for whom this day is named is
not clearly a single, real person.
The Catholic Church records at least two different saints
named Valentine, both of whom were supposedly martyred on
February 14th in two dif ferent cities. However, Pope Gelasius I
proclaimed February 14th as a day to commemorate the sin le
individual Saint Valentine. Why the confusion? Why would the
Catholic Church venerate a person who was not necessarily
Winning Barbarian Tribesmen
The Encyclopedia Britannica, under the subject heading
"Christianity," explains: "The continuity of pre-Christian
antiquity and Christian society is nowhere more apparent than in
popular religious practices." (A reference to the veneration of
saints) "The pagans were normally devoted to local shrines of
particular gods. The church tried to meet this psychological need
by establish ing shrines of martyrs." In other words, it is clear
that the Catholic Church 'christianized' pagan celebrations in
order to embrace the persons who practiced those rites.
Britannica continues: "Pagan critics said that the old gods,
true givers of success and miracles, were offended by neglect."
(Now that they had become 'Christians.') "To meet such
criticisms, the church found it necessary to provide similar
assurances of success, miraculous cures and patron saints."
"...even highly educated figures such as Augustine and Pope
Gregory I the Great (died 604 A.D.) were sympathetic to this
popular movement. IT BECAME A MEANS OF WINNING BARBARIAN
TRIBESMEN. The veneration of saints led to the production of a
specific category of literature known as Hagiography. If
available, authentic tradition would be used, but, if there was
none the writers felt quite free to create a biography from
conventional materials and elements of folklore." [EMPHASIS MINE]
Thus, the myths and legends of pagan gods and heroes became
entwined with the religious practices of those who professed to
follow Jesus Christ.
Later, Pope Paul VI attempted to down play the significance
of the veneration of saints "...by deleting some unhistorical,
ostensibly mythological figures from the calendar of saints." The
difficulty lies in the fact that "...mythological features from
pre-Christian hero myths had often been intermixed, even in the
lives of demonstrably historical saints." Even the history of
real persons was hopelessly perverted by ancient pagan legends.
"Saint" worship is much older than Christianity. It is also
fairly universal; elements of "saint worship are recognizable in
Confucianism, Tao ism, Shintoism, Buddhism (in at least two of
its major forms), Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Hinduism and Parsiism.
In the ancient Babylonian and Assyrian religions, "saint" worship
was so central that a priesthood was established primarily to say
prayers of intercession to the "saints."
Since saint veneration was so prominent in the early
centuries following Christ, especially within the confines of the
world ruling empire of Rome, its incorporation into
'Christianity' was natural once it was declared the state
religion. However, in the New Testament, the term "saint" refers
to any member of the Christian church. It was not used as an
official title of the Roman church until 600+ years after Christ
when it was bestowed to honor dead individuals who were already
being publicly worshipped.
To wit: Pope Urban VIII attempted to limit the growth of
saint worship by "...forbidding the public cult (worshipful
following) of any person not as yet beatified or canonized by the
church. Exception was made only for those who were in possession
of public cult from time immemorial or for at least 100 years."
Even their efforts to curb saint worship resulted in
pre-Christian pagan heroes being "grandfathered in" and
recognized officially as heroes of the Christian faith. So now
the question is: If Saint Valentine's Day doesn't actually
commemorate one or both of the two men named Valentine, who died
in A.D.269? Who does it celebrate?
A trip to the library to research Valentine's Day will lead
even the most casual researcher to an ancient roman festival
called Lupercalia. Al though originally celebrated on February
15th, many of the customs and traditions of the Lupercalia later
came to be associated with the February 14 feast of the Third
Century martyr Valentine. In fact, the tradition of St.Valentine
being the patron saint of lovers owes greatly to the fact that
the Lupercalia was largely a fertility rite and a celebration of
Lupercalia celebrates a primitive deity who gathered people
together for safety and protected their herds and flocks from
wolves. (Note that "lupus" in Latin is "wolf.")
Alexander Hislop, in his well documented historical work,
"The Two Babylons," relates that Nimrod, the great-grandson of
Noah, was the first to gather people together in cities in order
to protect them from wild animals. Genesis 10:9 tells us that
Nimrod was a "mighty hunter" before the Eternal. Actually the
words "against" and "in opposition to" more correctly reflect the
original usage- of the word translated "before" in this verse.
Nimrod was a "mighty" man with the respect and admiration of
the people. They idolized him. No doubt, all the young men wanted
to be like him and the young women probably imagined themselves
with him. NIMROD IS THE VENERATED SAINT OF THE LUPERCALIA.
During the rites and ceremonies of the Lupercalia, goats and
a dog were sacrificed. The strips of their hides were cut off and
used to strike any woman who came close. This was supposed to
cause the woman to conceive. It was a fertility rite.
Another custom connected to the Lupercalia required the
early Roman men to wear the names of the women they desired for
partners during the fertility rites pinned to their sleeves. To
this day, it is said that a young man who shows interest in a
young lady is "wearing his heart on his sleeve." How do love and
hearts fit in with traditions of the Lupercalia and Nimrod?
In Genesis 10, we read how that, after the flood, people
increased in numbers; we further read that Nimrod began to
establish a "kingdom" by building cities. All people were of the
same language and huddled together in one place. They grew wicked
and presumptuous, acting as though they could replace God Himself
by working together.
God decided to scatter them and confuse their languages. As
a result, they would seek out those with whom they could
communicate and be separate groups. No doubt, all the different
groups had memories of their great leader, NIMROD. Tradition
teaches that Noah's son, Shem, killed Nimrod because he was
leading the people right back into the same idolatrous practices
which had angered God so much that He destroyed the inhabitants
of the earth in the flood, with the exception of Noah and his
The Valentine Heart
Stories about the same person appear throughout the
histories of the ancient civilizations. Nimrod is also known as
Osiris, Horus, Bel, Baal, Harpocrates, Tammuz, Pan, Bacchus, and
Dionysus. These stories include descriptions of the death of this
man who was considered a "savior." To their thinking, he was
martyred. Shem, it is said, cut Nimrod apart and sent the pieces
to the people scattered about as a warning of what would happen
to anyone else who would dare lead the people into Idolatry.
In the story of Bacchus' death, his wife Minerva managed to
snatch away his heart after it was ripped from his lifeless body.
Later from his heart sprang his son Dionysus who was Bacchus
reincarnate -- born again! From this story, we can see the
beginnings of the use of the heart as an important Valentine
Some may attempt to justify Valentine's Day and heart
symbols by pointing to the widespread use of the "sacred heart of
Jesus" in religious art.
However, as the Encyclopedia Britannica rightly states: "The
use of Jesus' heart to symbolize his love for men is not found in
the Bible, but in the writings of some medieval mystics."
What about Cupid, the little naked baby with wings and a bow
and arrow? How does that fit in? Cupid is one of the names of the
son of Nim rod. It is he who was said to have sprung alive from
the heart of his dead father. The bow and arrow identify him as
the "mighty hunter" reborn. His wings testify that, as his mother
claimed, he was not just the son of Nimrod, but the very
incarnation of the invincible SUN! Like the sun, he could fly
through the heavens!
What is Cupid's talent? To make people love and desire one
another, of course. The very name "Cupid" means "desire." He,
like his father, was said to be very striking in appearance. In
fact. Nimrod, Adonis, etc., was so good looking, even his own
mother seduced him. Indeed, he married his own mother! You can
see why Shem recognized and acted against a leader of such low
morals whom he saw attempting to pervert the people.
Hislop states that the idol known as the desire of women
mentioned in Daniel 11:37 and as the image o f iealousy in
Ezekiel 8:5 is none other than the person of Tammuz, Adonis,
Sending of Cards
You may think, even if these things are all true, surely
there is no harm in sending or receiving cards that say "Be my
valentine." Weren't these customs started because Valentine was
imprisoned and sent loving notes of encouragement to those who
were free? Perhaps you have heard such a story. But listen to
what the researchers of the Encyclopedia Britannica have to say
regarding the sending of cards: "The custom has no connection
with the two Saint Valentines or with known incidents in their
lives." (Vol 12, P.242)
The sending of cards apparently became tied to Valentine's
Day approximately 800 years after it was officially recognized by
the church of Rome In 1415, the Duke of Orleans was imprisoned by
the British in the Tower of London. He reportedly sent a rhyming
love poem to his wife in France on Valentine's Day, thus
beginning a romantic tradition. But, does that make it OK to ask
someone to be your "valentine?"
Just as the name "Cupid" has meaning, so does "Valentine."
Taken from the Latin word "Valentines," which is a proper name
based on the word "Valens," the name "Valentine" means strong,
powerful or mighty one. Just like Nimrod, the "mighty hunter
before the Lord." So, in effect, when you ask someone to "Be your
Valentine." you are asking them to be your "mighty one!" You are,
whether you recognize it or not, honoring an ANCIENT, PAGAN
DEITY! To do so is an abomination to God and is BLATANT IDOLATRY!
The Bible is God's instruction book for man. In it, He does
not teach us to venerate or worship the dead. Let us not be found
observing ANY DAY designated to any so called "saints," which
would include St.Patrick's Day, All Saints Day (Halloween) and
St.Nicholas Day (Christmas). In Jeremiah 10:2, He warns us not to
learn how to worship false gods like the heathen nations. In
Deuteronomy 12:29-32, He plainly tells us that we can't serve Him
by incorporating the practices of pagans because those acts are
an abomination to Him.
May the Eternal grant us the courage to admit our mistakes
and the boldness to change our direction, to abandon these OLD
IDOLATROUS PRACTICES which are deceitfully portrayed as
"Christian." Let's stop pretending that it doesn't really matter.
Let's teach our children and families the truth from GOD'S WORD
instead of pagan Idolatry!
CHRISTIAN CUSTOM OR PAGAN PAGEANTRY?
"Will you be my valentine?" That question is asked by millions
about this time of year. Why? Is there any religious significance
to February 14?
By Herman L. Hoeh
You might suppose schoolteachers and educators would know.
But do they?
How many of you were ever taught the real origin of
Valentine's Day - were ever told in school exactly why you should
observe the custom of exchanging valentines?
Teachers are all too often silent about the origin of the
customs they are forced to teach in today's schools. If they were
to speak out, many would lose their jobs!
Today, candy makers unload tons of heart-shaped red boxes
for February 14 - St. Valentine's Day - while millions of the
younger set exchange valentines. Florists consider February 14 as
one of their best business days. And young lovers pair off - at
least for a dance or two - at St.Valentine's balls.
Why? Where did these customs originate? How did we
come to inherit these customs? Isn't it time we examined why we
encourage our children to celebrate St.Valentine's Day?
A Christian custom?
Many have assumed that the traditional Valentine's Day
celebrations are all in connection with an early Christian martyr
by the name of Valentine.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Notice what one encyclopedia says about this idea: "St.
Valentine's Day as a lovers' festival, the choice of a valentine
and the modern development of sending valentine cards has no
relation to the saint or to any incident in his life"
(Encyclopaedia Britannica, article "Valentine, Saint").
Did you know that centuries before the birth of Jesus, the
pagan Romans celebrated February 15 and the evening of February
14 as an idolatrous and sensuous festival in honor of one called
Lupercus, the "hunter of wolves"?
The Romans called the festival the "Lupercalia." The custom
of exchanging valentines and all the other traditions in honor of
Lupercus, the deified hero-hunter of Rome, was also linked
anciently with the pagan practice of teenagers "going steady." It
usually led to fornication.
Today, the custom of going steady is thought very modern and
advanced. It isn't. It is merely a rebirth of an old custom
"handed down from the Roman festival of the Lupercalia,
celebrated in the month of February, when names of young women
were put into a box and drawn out by men as chance directed."
That's the admission of the Encyclopedia Americana, article
The Encyclopaedia Britannica also points out that the custom
of exchanging valentines arose from this "name drawing" during
the Lupercalia. The "custom was introduced to England by the
Romans and continued through the Christian era. In order to adapt
the practice to Christianity the church transferred it to the
feast of St. Valentine" (article "Greeting Card").
When Constantine in A.D.313 made Christianity an official
religion of the Roman Empire, there was some talk in church
circles of discarding this pagan free-for-all. But the Roman
citizens wouldn't hear of it! So it was agreed that the holiday
would continue as it was, except for the more grossly sensual
It was not until the reign of Pope Gelasius that the holiday
became a "Christian" custom. "As far back as 496, Pope Gelasius
changed Lupercalia on February 15 to St.Valentine's Day on
February 14" (Lavinia Dobler, "Customs and Holidays Around the
But how did this pagan festival acquire the name of "St.
Valentine's Day"? And why do little children and young people
still cut out hearts and send them to "sweethearts" on a day in
honor of Lupercus, the hunter of wolves?
Why have we supposed these pagan customs, in honor of a
false god, are Christian?
Who was the original "St.Valentine"?
Valentine was a common Roman name. Roman parents often gave
the name to their children in honor of the famous man who was
first called Valentine in antiquity. That famous man was
Lupercus, the hunter.
But who was Lupercus - and why should he have also borne the
name Valentine among the heathen Romans?
The Romans identified Lupercus with the Greek god Pan
(Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology,
Vol. II, article "Lupercus"). Pan was an Arcadian god of light.
As such he was equivalent to the Phoenician sun-god Baal. Baal -
mentioned so often in the Hebrew Bible - was a title of Nimrod,
"the mighty hunter" (Genesis 10:9).
The Persian author Rashid alDin, in his "History of the
Franks," mentions that Nimrod extended his hunting expeditions
even to Italy. The Apennine mountains of Italy also bore the name
the Mountains of Nembrod or Mountains of Nimrod.
The hunter Nimrod pursued wolves in the Apennine mountains
of Italy and acquired the title Lupercus, or "wolf hunter."
Valentine's Day was originally a day set aside by the pagan
Romans in his honor!
But why should Nimrod have been called Valentine by the
Romans? And why should the celebration of this day have been
anciently limited to the city of Rome before Pope Gelasius' time?
What part did the site of ancient Rome play in the life of
Valentine comes from the Latin word "Valentinus," a proper
name derived from the word "valens," meaning "to be strong,
powerful, mighty." Any connection with Nimrod?
We read in the Bible that Nimrod was "the mighty hunter"
(Genesis 10:9). It was a common proverb of ancient time that
Nimrod was "the mighty hunter before the Lord." Nimrod was their
hero - their strong man - their valentine!
But why do we associate hearts with a day set aside in honor
of Nimrod - the Baal of the Phoenicians?
The surprising answer is that the ancient Romans acquired
the symbol of the heart from the Babylonians. Nimrod founded
Babel. He was the first lord of the Babylonians.
In the Chaldean tongue, spoken in Babylonia, the word for
"heart" was "bal." The heart - bal - became, because of
similarity in sound, a symbol of Nimrod - the Baal or Lord of the
Later, professing Christians in Constantine's day associated
one of their martyrs named Valentine with festivities honoring
Nimrod - the Valentine of the heathen. In this way pagan Romans
were influenced to "embrace" the church while still continuing
their pagan customs.
Why February 14?
But why should the early Romans have chosen February 15 and
the evening of February 14 to honor Lupercus - the Nimrod of the
Bible? (Remember that days in ancient times began at sunset the
Nimrod - the Baal or sun-god of the ancient pagans was said
to have been born at the winter solstice. In the 21st century
B.C., the winter solstice occurred on January 6. Semiramis who
ruled as queen in that century ordered Nimrod's celebrated on the
day designate January 6. The Eastern Orthodox churches still
commemorate this particular day, but now call it by the name
Later, as the solstice changed, Julius Caesar ordered the
Roman world to celebrate this birth date on the new date of the
solstice - on December 25 on his reformed calendar. This day was
called the Brumalia. Today it is labeled Christmas.
It was the custom of antiquity for the mother of a male
child to present herself for purification on the 40th day after
the day of birth. The fortieth day after January 6 - - Nimrod's
original birthdate - takes us to February 15, the celebration of
which began on the evening of February 14 - the Lupercalia or St.
On this day in February, Semiramis, the mother of Nimrod,
was said to have been purified and to have appeared for the first
time in public with her son as the original "mother and child."
The Roman month February, in fact, derives its name from the
"februa," which the Roman priests used in the rites celebrated on
the Lupercalia. The februa were thongs from the skins of
sacrificial animals used in rites of purification on the evening
of February 14.
This, then, is the origin of Valentine's Day. Why should we
continue teaching children these pagan customs, derived from
ancient and out-dated pagan sex-and-hero-worship? Why not teach
them, instead, what history and the Bible really say?