Valentine’s Day, February 14

(PCM) Valentine’s Day, a day for romance and love, a day to take that special someone out for dinner buy them chocolates or get a special card or gift that would mean something to that person only.

Valentine’s day, which in actuality, Saint Valentine’s Day is a day that commemorates the life or Saint Valentine.  Valentine lived in the time of Claudius the Second who was Emperor of Rome in the second century A.D…  Claudius made a decision that unmarried men made better soldiers and so he forbade young men to marry.  Valentine however did not agree with the Emperor and went ahead and married young couples in secret and was eventually martyred.  This would make him the patron Saint of Romantic Love.

The placing of Valentine’s Day had more to do with the need to stop a pagan festival known as Lupercalia.  Lupercalia was a pagan ritual to gain fertility for people, and the land.   Pagan priests of Rome would go to the cave where the founders of Rome Romulus and Remus were born.  There they would sacrifice a dog for purification and a goat for fertility.  They would then strip the goat of its hide, cut it into strips and dip the strips into the sacrificed blood. 

The priest, the matchmaker that they were, would go and gently slap the fields for crops and the women so they would both have a fertile year.  Far from being repulsed for having blood slapped on them the women rejoiced as to them it guaranteed fertility.

Later in the day, and this may not be true, the single women would all place their names in a large urn.  The singles guys all drew a name from the urn and would be paired with that woman for the coming year. Many of these matches would end in marriage.

The Festival or Lupercalia was held on the ides of February or February 15.  The church simply moved it one day back and made it Saint Valentine’s Day taking away the blood and the urn, but keeping the hopes of romantic love alive.

Now that you know all about Valentine’s Day go out and get that box of candy or the diamond ring or make the dinner reservation.  If you’re a woman this is probably already done, if you’re a guy… well you can always find something at Walgreen’s.

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