The modern-day Valentine’s Day is a combination of two blood-filled ancient events. In ancient Roman times, the festival of Lupercalia took place on February 15th to celebrate the she-wolf Luper who suckled Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. The festival involved animal sacrifice and ‘love taps’ with blood-drenched strips of animal hide to promote fertility. In the Third Century, Emperor Claudius II, still in a struggle with Christianity, executed two men, both coincidentally named Valentine, on February 14th, though in different years. The Catholic Church celebrated their martyrdom by honoring them with a special day, St. Valentine’s Day, the day of their martyrdom.
By the Fifth Century, Pope Galasius I felt the need to tidy up the pagan fertility celebration of Lupercalia by combining it with St. Valentine’s Day and creating a Christian celebration of love.
One of the first known and preserved Valentine’s Day love poems was written in the Fourteenth Century and was added to by the likes of Shakespeare and Chaucer. By the early Twentieth Century, Hallmark Cards began mass-producing love poems for the world. We also began amplifying our declaration of love with red roses, sweet chocolates, and jewels.
For those of us who want to proclaim that our love will last beyond the wilted roses and the melted chocolates, there is jewelry, especially jewelry including heart motifs – take my heart forever.
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