Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day - The Legend

Eros, Greek God of Love and Desire
The first idea of romantic love came from the god, Eros (God of Love and Desire). The Greek poet Hesiod, who writes in his Theogony, that Eros was one of the first gods born out of Chaos (the void), along with Gaia (the earth) and Tartarus (the underworld). 

Theogony described Eros in the following as: "…and Eros, the fairest of the deathless gods; he unstrings the limbs and subdues both mind and sensible thought in the breasts of all gods and all men." (Hesiod, Theogony, 120-2)

Cupid and his arrows of desire

In Roman mythology Eros' name translation was Cupid, which means desire. He is depicted as a capricious winged child carrying a bow and a quiver of arrows.

St. Valentine, is patron saint of lovers.
Valentine’s Day is named after St. Valentine the patron saint of lovers.

One Valentine legend says St. Valentine secretly married many young lovers and therefore became their patron saint.

It is thought that  Valentine's Day most likely came from the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, which had been celebrated for eight hundred years on February 15th. The day was dedicated to the god Lupercus and young men would take a woman as a sexual companion for a year, by means of drawing her name in a lottery.

Pope Gelasius changed this custom, which was unacceptable to the Catholic Church. He decreed that the lottery be changed so that both young men and women drew the names of saints to emulate for the coming year.


Valentine instead of Lupercus became the patron of this feast. Despite this change in custom, Roman men continued to seek the affections of women on this date and sent notes of endearment to their sweethearts, including Valentine's name in their missives.
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