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Who is Your Valentine


    When February 14 looms on the calendar, some people anticipate roses, chocolates, and loving attention from spouses and romantic relationships. We see numerous advertisements in stores, internet and media, for romantic gifts and activities to lavish on that “special someone”. Others may chose to lavish these gifts on friends, parents, children and other loved ones.
    As a child in elementary school, every year my class had a Valentine’s Day party and we made valentines for our classmates and passed them out. My parents provided me with a “Valentine’s Day kit”, with cute, loving and joking messages and there were always enough valentines for everyone in the class. I was instructed to give one to every classmate, choosing the most appropriate for each one. (For example, I could give Suzie the valentine with the cute little kitten, that read, “Be my purry valentine” and give Billy the one with a bumble bee, that read “Bee mine”.) Everyone made paper pouches, where our valentines could be delivered at our desks. Even today, I still have these cards from years ago.
    We are familiar with the little “angelic” cupids with their bows, aiming for unsuspecting hearts.
    I am told that the celebration of this holiday is spreading throughout the world, throughout Europe, Russia and Israel.
    But where does the tradition and holiday originate? In Ancient Rome, February 13-14 was a pagan holiday, called the Festival of Juno Februa, which means, “Juno the purifier” or “the chaste Juno”. February 15 was another pagan holiday, called “Lupercalia” , which people believed enhanced fertility, though it did not have a romantic aspect. “Lupercalia originates from the word, “lupus”, or "wolf". It is possible that this holiday was originated the story of Romulus and Remus, who were said to have been nursed by a wolf. Priests of the “luperci” would travel to the the cave where this legendary wolf had allegedly lived, and sacrifice animals (two goats and a dog). The blood would then be scattered in the streets, to bring fertility and keep the wolves away. (FromWikipedia, Plutarch • Life of Caesar ; - Rome - Saint Valentine's Day).
    There are different theories as to the origin of the current holiday. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honor St. Valentine, who was a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up his Christian faith. Valentine lived during the reign of Emperor Claudius, who had Valentine jailed for defying Roman laws against Christianity. Valentine died on February 14, 269 A.D. It was believed that Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine". \(from
Who is your valentine?