Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Is Valentine's Day named after a saint?  Is it possible to replace the traditional American worldly way of celebrating Valentine’s Day by something more spiritual, for example showing love and kindness by visiting nursing homes, children’s shelter etc..

Saint Valentine’s Day on February 14 is a holiday honoring "lovers." In the literature this is how Valentine’s Day is described. It is celebrated with the custom of sending cards or gifts to express affection. This holiday most probably derives from the ancient Roman Feast of Lupercalis celebrated in ancient times on February 15. This pagan feast encouraged young men and maidens to draw partners for the upcoming year via lottery. The Valentines Celebration gradually became associated with the Feast Day of two Roman martyrs; both named St Valentine, who lived in the third century. St Valentine has traditionally been regarded as the patron saint of "lovers."

With this literary background in mind, I think with the documented literary history of Saint Valentine’s Day one can understand why the Coptic Church does not celebrate this day as one of its Feast Days.

I want to clearly state that all respect is given to any martyr or person who give their life for the sake of Christian beliefs. A denoted celebration of martyrdom is one honored within any church.

A special day can certainly be set aside for service involving love for others, but I prefer this to be within the context of a feast day recognized by the Coptic Church (e.g., the feast of St. John the Beloved). This will not only bring awareness to the Celebrations of the Church but will also bring respect and honor to the Church and its standing within the community as well.
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