“They attained to know…the time that was at hand, in which no longer should the bullock of the herd be a sacrifice to God, nor the ram of the flock, nor the he-goat, but all these things should be fulfilled in a purely spiritual manner.” (Athanasius, Festal Letters 19.3-4)
Pope Gelasius I (492–496) opposed the rituals of Lupercalia. Saint Valentine’s Day, February 14, was thus elevated as a feast day for young lovers. Fertility rituals of purification, ordeal, sexual extravagance and sacrifice central to Lupercalia were challenged by the emerging ideas of Christian love under the patronage of a priest and martyr who had lived a short distance from the Palatine hill in Rome and met his death defending the right of lovers to marry. Lupercalia slowly became a feast for Saint Valentine, commemorating the gift of love beyond fertility.
Provincial Museum of Alberta; Maison Saint-Gabriel; Cupids Museum; Fanshawe Pioneer Village; Musée Colby-Curtis - Société historique de Stanstead; Doon Heritage Crossroads; St. Marys Museum; British Museum, London, England; Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, Sanibel, Florida, USA