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History of Valentine\'s Day ()
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History of Valentine's Day

 

 

Valentines Day has always been the day dedicated to lovers. There are

many stories as to how Valentines day started. Here are a few of them.

 

Lupercalia

 

Valentines Day has its origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia,

observed on Feb. 15. Lupercalia celebrated the coming of Spring in the

Roman calendar (February was observed later in the year than it is

today). Lupercalia was associated with the Roman gods Lupercus and

Faunus. Lupercus watched over shepherds and their flocks and the

festival of Lupercalia became a celebration intended to ensure the

fertility of flocks, fields and people.

 

The celebration of Lupercalia transformed and spread as the Roman Empire

grew. When the Romans conquered France, it was then that the first

Valentine-like cards may have been exchanged. Apparently, a container in

which women had placed their names (possibly accompanied by love notes)

was used in a lottery. Men drawing a womens name would either seek or

were guaranteed that womans favors.

 

Saint Valentines Day

 

 

 

The legend of St. Valentine stems from real-life martyrs from the Roman

Empire known as Valentines. It is unsure who was the St. Valentine, but

there are two possible candidates. One of these Valentines is believed

to have been a Roman priest and physician. He was killed in the third

century, during the persecutions of the Emperor Claudius II. After his

death this Valentine was buried in the Roman road Via Flaminia. Pope

Julius I is said to have later built a basilica above his grave. A

second Saint Valentine candidate, believed to be a bishop of Teni ( a

province in central Italy), was executed in Rome.

 

These mens status comes from legends of harboring Christians from

persecution, curing the blindness of a cell keepers daughter, and

conducting marriages while they were forbidden during times of war. It

is this, along with the traditions of Lupercalia, that came together to

honor St. Valentine as the patron saint of lovers.

 

Eros-Cupid-Amor

 

From its association with Lupercalia, and that days connection to

fertility, comes St. Valentines association with love and romance. This

led Valentines enthusiasts to appoint the Roman god Cupid as a patron

of Valentines day. Cupid is also known as Amor or Eros in Greek

mythology. Eros seems to have been responsible for impregnating a number

of goddesses and mortals. The ancient Greeks believed Eros was the force

"love," a force they believe was behind all creation.

 

 

There are several legends about St.Valentines Day. One of the legends

says that Valentine was Christian priest who lived in the 3 century A.D.

He was put into prison by roman authorities for his teachings and was

beheaded on February 14. According to the legend he performed a

miracle-he cured his jailers daughter of her blindness. Before the

execution he wrote her a letter signed From Your Valentine. Another

legend says that the same Valentine wrote to children and friends who

loved him from the jail.

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