Mark Driscoll recently posted an evaluation of Valentine’s Day, commemorating the man who was claimed a Saint by the Catholic Church. He claims that His holiday was ruined by Lupercalia, a Roman pagan holiday which was a lustful holiday filled with debauchery.
There are a couple problems with this view.
1) Although he is right that there were many men named Valentine who were martered. The one commonly referred to is Valentine of Rome who was martyred in 269 AD. He rightly states that Pope Gelasius established the holiday in 496 also. He is wrong that the holiday romance ideas are attributed to Lupercalia. It’s a huge logical jump that leaves out too many reasons for saying that. Despite his good intentions, he is just wrong to say this. If you had been caught celebrating a pagan Roman holiday while the Catholic Church was in power, you would not have fared well.
2) Valentine’s Day was not truly romanticized until Chaucer in the 14th century began his writings and making. Although this is technically in the Medieval period. It is only at the far end of that period from the establishment of Valentine’s day. Chaucer was could not have been celebrating a pagan ritual 1000 years after the establishment of a holiday by a church that had already dismissed that holiday.
Pastor Driscoll, please do the homework necessary for being a leader of a church. I love you and even sometimes agree with you. As a brother, I’m calling you out.