Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

In the Catholic church, today, 14 February, was designated the Feast of Saint Valentine, by Pope Gelasiuis I, around the year 496.  However, 15 February was the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was an annual fertility celebration.  Which St. Valentine Pope Gelasius I  wished to honor is unknown.  According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there were at least three early Christian saints with that name; and, strangely, all three were said to have been martyred on February 14.  The first known Valentine was a priest in Rome, the second was a Bishop in Terni, and all that is known of the third is that he met his death in Africa.  Maybe Gelasius wanted his followers to pick one of the triad?
   Geoffrey Chaucer was the first author known to link romantic love and St. Valentine's Day - and that was in poetry celebrating birds that mated for life, back around 1380.  Hmmmm...   Did earlier people realize how frail and false the human flesh was?  We cannot trace romantic love and St. Valentine's Day back to the Age of Chivalry; that Code of Conduct was established between 1170 and 1220.
    So why do we celebrate "romantic love," as human beings?  For dreams and seemingly wonderful fairy tales?

   In any event, I wish all of my readers a very happy Valentine's Day !

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