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Posted on Friday, February 10 - 2006

" Everyone thinks they know the origin of Valentine’s Day. According to the most commonly accepted story, Emperor Claudius of Rome issued a decree forbidding marriage in the year 271.Roman generals had found that married men did not make very good soldiers, because they wanted to ret..."

Saint Valentine

Everyone thinks they know the origin of Valentine’s Day. According to the most commonly accepted story, Emperor Claudius of Rome issued a decree forbidding marriage in the year 271.Roman generals had found that married men did not make very good soldiers, because they wanted to return as quickly as possible to their wives and children—and they didn’t want to leave them to fight the emperor’s battles in the first place. So Claudius issued his edict that there should be no more marriages, and all single men should report for duty.A priest named Valentine deemed such a decree an abomination, and he secretly continued to marry young lovers. When Claudiuslearned of this extreme act of disobedience to his imperial command, he ordered the priest dragged off to prison and had him executed on February 14. Father Valentine, the friend of sweethearts, became a martyr to love and the sanctity of marriage, and when the Church gained power in the Roman Empire, the Holy See was quick to make him a saint. The early Church fathers were well aware of the popularity of a vast number of heathen gods and goddesses, as well as the dates of observation of pagan festivals, so they set about replacing as many of the entities and the holidays as possible with ecclesiastical saints and feast days.

Mid-February had an ancient history of being devoted to acts of love of a far more passionate and lusty nature than the Church wished to bless, and the bishops moved as speedily as possible to claim thedays of February 14 through 17 as belonging to Saint Valentine, the courageous martyr to the ties that bound couples in Christian love.

February Is for Mating Actually, there is no proof that the good priest Valentine even existed. Some scholars trace the period of mid-February as a time for mating back to ancient Egypt. On those same days of the year that contemporary lovers devote to St. Valentine, men and women of the Egyptian lower classes determined their marital partners by the drawing of lots. But the time of coupling that comes with the cold nights in February before the spring thaw likely had its true origin very near where Valentine supposedly met his demise. Among the ancient Greeks and Romans, the Wolf Charmer was called the Lupicinus.Perhaps hearkeni......


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