** VALENTINE'S DAY ** (Weird)

What a weird history Valentine’s day has. Almost makes me not want to celebrate it but here it is cupids:
The true History of Valentines Day
by Mani Niall

     5th Century, Rome

     Mid February was traditionally the time of the Lupercian festival, an
     ode to the God of fertility and a celebration of sensual pleasure, a time
     to meet and court a prospective mate. In AD 496, Pope Gelasius
     outlawed the pagan festival. But he was clever to replace it with a
     similar celebration, although one deemed morally suitable. He needed
     a "lovers" saint to replace the pagan deity Lupercus.

     The martyred Bishop Valentine was chosen as the patron saint of the
     new festival.

     Saint Valentine had been beheaded for helping young lovers marry
     against the wishes of the mad emperor Claudius. Before execution,
     Valentine himself had fallen in love with his jailer's daughter. He
     signed his final note to her, "From Your Valentine", a phrase that has
     lasted through the centuries.

     Pope Gelasius didn't get everything he wanted. The pagan festival
     died out, it is true, but he had further hoped people would emulate the
     lives of saints. Instead they latched onto the more romantic aspect of
     Saint Valentines religious life. While not immediately as popular as the
     more passionate pagan festival, eventually the concept of celebrating
     true love became known as Valentine's Day.

Handy, this seems inherently implausible. Claudius was emperor around 50 or 60 AD, if memory serves, so unlikely there’d be a Christian bishop martyred at that time…

Not sure about the dates, true, Dex, but certainly there was a Bishop Valentine who was martyred for his Christian faith. The Catholic encyclopedia online gives a brief discussion, noting that there are three “St. Valentine’s” whose feast day is February 14. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12409a.htm

I presume this means that David B objects to his child’s preschool acknowledging the existence of Valentine’s Day. Can’t have 'em cutting out paper hearts at a public school, y’know.


Here’s a couple sites I found, including a reference to Claudius II (explaining away the discrepancy Dex pointed out), but calling that whole part of the story apocryphal:

This one has a whole different legend:

Getting TSD from pre-dark ages ages times can be so confusing! Oh, Cecil?

I am with handy let’s get rid of this sappy Valentines day stuff, it’s all so confusing. Three different saints, two emperors each madder than the other. Let’s get back to celebrating the traditional more sensual Lupercian festival of our forefathers.
" Oh dew bee my Lupercian." Hmm… “Lupercian let me be your lusting Pan” well how about
, " Lupercalia,when I saw you at the Bachinalia,Juno I wanted to bal… " OK Valentines day it is.

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

Funny you should mention this. When I dropped my daughter off at preschool (a private preschool) this morning with a handful of Valentine notes to pass around, her teacher told me that they were not allowed to refer to today as Valentine’s Day and instead were having a special day to celebrate Friendship and Love.

My husband and I – religious know-nothings as we are – looked at each other with highly puzzled expressions. I volunteered weakly that I thought it was in fact “St. Valentine’s Day” but we were hard-pressed to come up with any religious overtones to the whole candy-heart and Teletubbies Valentines experience.

Anyway, I suppose if the school has to err in either direction, I prefer they err in this one…

Drlucy, you might wanta drop by the preschool. I just learned from one of my trivia news groups that " Valentines day is traditionally the best time for preparing eels for the purposes of magic." Cutting and pasting doillies is one thing, and I can accept that some do like to place bets on trouser squirells, but eel magic is too slippery a subject for me to grasp.

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

Valentines day, another way of charging four times the regular rate for roses.

mr.john, perhaps this is what you were thinking of?:

    See whether their basest metal be not moved;
     They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.
    Go you down that way towards the Capitol;
        This way will I disrobe the images,
     If you do find them deck'd with ceremonies.

              May we do so?
       You know it is the feast of Lupercal.

          Julius Caesar Act 1, Scene 1.

“I have gathered a posie of other men’s flowers, and nothing but the
thread that binds them is mine own.”