| The Origins of St. Valentine's Day

Posted by admin at 2005, October 17, 10:10 PM
More of this topic in Culture

St. Valentine's Day is believed to have originated as an ancient Roman tradition in the third century. The god Lupercus was said to watch over the shepherds and their flocks. Every February the Romans celebrated a feast called Lupercalia to honor Lupercus so that no harm would come to the shepherds and their flocks.


Also during Lupercalia, but in honor of the goddess Juno Februata, the names of young women were put into a box and drawn by lot. The boys and girls who were matched would be considered partners for the year.


To Christianize the ancient Roman celebration of the Feast of Lupercus, church officials changed the name to St. Valentine's Day. Priests substituted the drawing of girls' names for the names of saints. On St. Valentine's Day the priest placed saints' names into a box. Young people then drew a name from the container. In the following year, the youth was supposed to emulate the life of the saint whose name he had drawn. +ùδВWwW。fAiRY-TAle.iNfo∵き∑+

Legend has it that there were seven men named Valentine who were honored with feasts on Feb. 14. Among these, the stories of two men seem most related to our present-day meaning of St. Valentine's Day.


 One of these men was a priest during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Valentine was revered by people of all walks of life. At this time Claudius was heavily recruiting men to serve as soldiers. The men preferred not to leave their wives, families and sweethearts to fight in foreign lands. Claudius became angry and declared that no more marriages could be performed. ㄆWww.FaiRY-tale.iNFoャ2ㄅ

Valentine thought this to be unfair and secretly married several couples. When Claudius found out, he threw Valentine in prison where he died. wWw.FAIrY-talE.InFO!ソふ∪òㄋc

Another version had St. Valentine jailed for helping Christians. While Valentine was in prison he cured a jailer's daughter of blindness. Claudius became enraged and had Valentine clubbed and beheaded on Feb. 14, 269 A.D.


All seven of the Valentines eventually evolved into one. In 496 Pope Gelasius declared the day in honor of St. Valentine. Through the centuries the holiday became a time to exchange love messages, and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. Lovers' quarrels come under his jurisdiction and, naturally, he is the patron saint of engaged couples and anyone wishing to marry. κЗネ|ترwWW。fAiRY-taLe.infO

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