For most, Valentine’s Day is all about love, relationships, and being romantic. But that’s a far cry from some of these root origins.
This February 15th Festival of Sexual License was held by ancient Romans who thought the god Lupercus would protect Rome from wolf packs devouring humans and livestock. Their response was to sacrifice goats and flog women with their skins to guarantee fertility. (Thank God we live in the 21st century, eh?)
We can thank Pope Gelasius for switching the occasion to February 14th and naming it after one of several saints named Valentine. Several men – all martyrs – have taken on the legend of St. Valentine, one of whom was known to secretly perform marriage ceremonies during a season when marriages were outlawed.
Yes, he was a whiz at archery. He enjoyed shooting arrows through the hearts of unsuspecting people, causing them to fall passionately in love. This mischievous legend was known to laugh and laugh at the targets of his arrows.