:: The Goddess and the Valentine::
The Goddess Says, "Make Love, Not War"
Claudius used his authority as Emperor to "ban" the practice of
marriage and the Festival of Lupercalia as well (since it was
contributing to the high incidence of marriage that was destroying
Obviously it was a dangerous time to be a Christian, not to mention a priest.
Valentine was part of the Christian underground, for he defied the Emperor's edict and continued to marry couples in secret. He was found out and imprisoned.
But there must have been something very "special" about Valentine, because Claudius himself took the time to visit him in prison and try to convert him to the worship of the pagan deities.
Valentine wasn't swayed by the Emperor's arguments, and instead
tried to persuade Claudius (and all his jailers ) to convert to
The very first Valentine card was sent by Saint Valentine himself!
Legend has it that while he was in prison, preaching to the guards, one guard brought in his daughter who was blind and Valentine restored her sight. She became a regular visitor and friend.
Just before his execution, Valentine wrote a letter to her and
signed it "Your Valentine".
And who the heck is Cupid, the chubby little guy wearing
diapers on all the Valentines? Where did he come from?
Think of it as "spin control" or an early version of "shrinkydinks".
(By saying the Patriarchy, we loosely refer to the male dominated organizations of the time, be it the government, the Church, or any other organized group that considered the goddess-worshipping pagan religions such a threat.)
In this instance, they were focusing their energies on 'down-sizing' the Greek god Eros, the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of romance and beauty, and Ares, the god of war.
As a married man, he gave up his silly profession.
But today we mostly see him portrayed as Cupid, that little fat
cherub with the bow and arrows, a far cry from the handsome and
manly god he once was.