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The annual holiday of lovers falling on February 14 is Valentine’s Day. The name comes from St. Valentine, whose liturgical memory in the Catholic Church is also celebrated on this day. Nowadays, however, Valentine’s Day is associated with the celebration of love and small gifts.
Valentine’s Day, like many other Christian holidays, has its origins in pagan celebrations. The ancient peoples of Rome celebrated Lupercalia. It was a festival of fertility and rebirth of nature, dedicated to the god Faun, in mid-February.
Patron Saint of Lovers
At the time of the expansion of Christianity, the pagan feast was replaced by the closest falling holiday, that is, the one celebrated in honour of St. Valentine. Since then, the figure of the clergyman and martyr has been identified with love and the rebirth of the cycle of life. The bishop is considered the patron saint of lovers and married couples. He is also a patron saint of those suffering from epilepsy and plague, among others.
Poland’s capital of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day, as a Christian holiday, gained great popularity in the Middle Ages. The cult of St. Valentine came to Poland from Bavaria and Tyrol. However, the commercialization of this holiday occurred in the 19th century. Since then it became popular to send cards, letters and love messages to loved ones.
Worth mentioning here is the Polish city of lovers, Chelmno, where every year the largest Valentine’s Day celebration in Poland takes place. The celebration is known as “Chelmno Valentine’s Day.” There is even a relic of St. Valentine kept in Chelmno’s parish church, which is believed to have been there since the Middle Ages.
That’s how the celebrations in Chelmno look like ⤵️