Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day in this part of the world is all about romantic love. The guy for whom the holiday is named — Valentine of Rome — was reputed to marry young Christian couples, which was apparently against the law because he got arrested for it.

While in jail, he converted his judge’s household and healed one or two (depends on which story you read) blind girls. Although he healed a blind kid (or two), he’s known as the patron saint of epileptics (and lovers and engaged people and beekeepers and plague victims and …). Not sure how he got that moniker, but there ya go.

Like a lot of the saint’s days, this one was started to supercede a pagan holiday, Lupercalia, in this case. Lupercalia, celebrated between February 13-15, involved sacrificing a goat and a dog and turning the hides into a whip. Naked guys would run around the streets with these whips and smack women. This was supposed to improve their fertility.

These days, I’d suggest your forgo Lupercalia, and if you choose to keep Valentine’s Day, stick with flowers … or whatever lovely gift or kindness your beloved prefers.

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