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[candy hearts]Valentine’s Day is named in memory of St. Valentine of Rome who died in 269 AD. Saint Valentine was arrested by Emporer Claudius II for helping Christian martyrs. After refusing to give up the Christian faith he was beaten to death with clubs and beheaded by the Prefect of Rome on February 14th. In 469 A.D. Pope Gelasius set February 14th as a day to honor him. Saint Valentine became the patron saint of epilepsy; having suffered from it in life. Saint Valentine also became the patron saint of lovers as the church assimilated the fertility festival Lupercalia into their calendar. (1, 2, 3)

  Lupercalia or Februarca, The Feast of Purifcation, used to be on February 15th and contained priests called Luperci who prayed to the wolf deity Lycaeus at the cave of Palentine. Lycaeus was the mother of the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. Marc Antony was master of the Luperci priests during his lifetime and in 44. B.C. offered the crown to Julius Caesar. The names Lyceum Temple of Love and February pure remain in the language today. (1, 3)

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