San Valentino – La Festa Degli Innamorati – is one of the most popular holidays among Catholics all over the world.
But who is Valentine and why on February 14 do we celebrate “The Day of All Lovers”?
Let’s plunge into history.
Even before the advent of St. Valentine’s Day, there was a pagan holiday called “Lupercalia” (Latin lupa – “she-wolf”). In 276 BC. Ancient Rome nearly died out as a result of the “epidemic” of stillbirths and miscarriages. The oracle announced that a rite of corporal punishment is necessary to increase the birth rate. At the foot of the Palatine Hill, where, according to legend, the she-wolf fed the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, every year on February 15, a ceremony was held during this holiday. Whips were made from the animal skins. After the feast, the young people took these whips and run naked around the city, whipping the women they met on the way. Women willingly let the men do it, believing that this ceremony would give them fertility and easy delivery.
With the advent of Christianity, the holiday was banned.
The cruel Roman emperor Claudius II, who ruled in 268-270, forbade girls to marry. Since very tough battles were going on, he needed a strong army. A simple priest, Valentine, who lived in the vicinity of Rome, secretly married lovers at night. This news reached the government. The priest was put in prison and sentenced to death. In conviction, Valentine met the guard’s daughter and fell in love with her. Before his death, he wrote a declaration of love to his beloved in the form of a postcard – heart, where he told her about his feelings, and signed it:
The execution took place on February 14.
Thus, Valentine was canonized. The tradition of celebrating the “Lovers’ Day” among Catholics has spread.
To date, many lovers of the world travel to Valentine’s motherland – Rome, where they pray for their couple to have a happy family life. In fact, all Italy is a country of love. All buildings, streets, and air here are imbued with this wonderful feeling!
We wish you peace in your home, harmony with your loved one, and if you are alone, to find your soul mate in the near future!