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Bulletins Bulletin : Published
Date: Wednesday, February 05, 2003
From: othoi somudra
valentine's day..............???

Every February,across the world,candy,folwers,goftcards and varities gifts are exchanged between loved one's,all in the name of st.valentine.But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday??????

The history of valentine's day-- and it's patron saint-is shrouded in mystery.But we do know that February has long been a month of's day,as we know it today,contains vestiges of both christian and ancient Roman tradition.

Today the catholic church recognizes at least three different saints named valentine or valentinus,all of whom were legend contends that valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome.When Emperor claudius 11 decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families,he outlawed marriage for young men --his crop of potential soldiers.Valentine realizing the injustice of the decree,defied claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.When valentine's actions were discovered,claudius ordered that he be put to death.Other stories suggest that valentine may have been killed for attempting to help christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they ere often beaten and tortured.

According to one legend,valentine actually sent the first valentine greeting himself.While in prison,it is believed that valentine fell in love with a young girl---who may have been his jailor's daughter--who visited him during his confinement.Before his death,it is alleged that he wrote her a letter,which he signed 'from your valentine,'an expression that is still in use today.Although the truth behind the valentine legends in murky,the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic,heroic,and,most importantly,romantic figure.It's no surprise that byt he middle ages,valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

while some believe that valentine's day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of valentine's death of burial--which probably occurred around 270A.D.--others claim that the christian church may have decided to celebrate valentine's feast day in the middle of february in an effort to 'christianize' celebrations of the pagan lupercalia festival.

In ancient Rome,February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time of purification.Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors.Lupercalia,which began at the ides of february,february15,was a fertility festrival dedicaated to Faunus,the Roman god of agriculture,as well as to the roman founders Romulus and Remus.To begin the festival,members of the luperci,an order of roman priests,would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus,the founders of Rome,were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa.The priest would then sacrifice a goat,for fertility,and a dog,for purification.The boy's then sliced the goat's hide into strips,dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets,gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips.Far from being fearful,Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year.later in the day,according to legend,all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn.The city's paired for the year with his chosen woman.These matches often ended in marriage.

pope Gelasius declared February 14 st.velentine's day around 498 A.D.The Roman lottery system for romantic pairing was deemed un-christian and outlawed.Later ,during the middle ages,it was comonly believed in France and England that february14 was the beginning of birds' mating season,which added to the idea that the middle of February--Valentine's Day--should be a day for romance.

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