Monday, February 05, 2007

Happy Monday. Everything seems to be heading toward Valentine’s Day.

Valentine, probably the most famous saint next to Nicolas and Patrick. However, in an attempt to find out just who this patron saint of boxed chocolate is, I did some research. Here it is in a Hallmark card nutshell.

St. Valentine was dropped from the official Roman Catholic list of saints in 1969. I never knew saints were up for review or could be fired, but it happened. Seems they couldn’t really establish what Valentine did to earn his Sainthood. There are rumors that he was beheaded, but no one agrees on why he lost his head. One story has him helping Christians escape pagan persecution. I don’t know what that has to do with Cupid and lovers.

Most probably Valentine was a minor saint used to convert Christians from the Roman god Lupercus. Lupercus is the god who ruled a pagan celebration in the month of February. The names of the maidens of the village would be placed in lottery. Young men would pick a name and keep that woman as a sexual partner for the year.

The Catholics didn’t like this practice of random sex and changed the celebration to men and women choosing the names of saints in a lottery. The idea was to express the qualities of that saint for the coming year. Instead of the god Lupercus they assigned St. Valentine, most probably because he was really not known for anything specific before that time. Valentine's day, one day before Feb. 15th which was Lupercus Day, eventually became what it is, a holiday for lovers.

There you have it. Although there is confusion over the ancient person, there is no confusion over the day and what it means. If you plan to have sex anytime over the next 6 months, men, you are obligated to offer gifts of sacrifice to St. Valentine. Candy, cards, flowers, candle lite dinners and poetry are required in some combination.

Okay, now that I have done the research for you, share your plans for the 14th. After it is over we will figure out the plan that worked the best and then we are a year ahead of the game for 2008.
As you were,


the other one said...

I heard Valentine was beheaded because he was marrying off the soldiers against the Emperor's wishes.

See, fall in love, get married and somebody loses a head...

Matt Bronsil said...

Hi Jay. As a former Theology major, I actually have some insight into this. (I KNEW studying Theology would pay off in blogworld some day)

The most "famous" story is that St. Valentine was a priest that married people, despite Emperor Claudius II's wishes. There are a few other stories floating around as well about totally different people with the same name. The church, during Vatican II, removed the celebration of several saints whose specific identity could not be understood and whose life was more myth than legend. I'm unclear on whether Valentine is no longer a Saint or whether just the feast day for celebrating was removed. Maybe someone might be able to give more information on that, but it seems the Feast Day was just changed from what I have read.

But...what did I do with my girlfriend on Valentine's Day? I E-Mailed her. Blah. Wish I could have done more, but I'm visiting America this month and she's in Taiwan, where I work. So what can ya do besides make it up later?