St Valentine’s Day, which falls on February 14, it’s a day where people show their love and affection for another person usually in the form of cards, flowers, gifts and messages. But..
Who was St Valentine?
St Valentine was a priest from Rome who lived in the third century AD.
Emperor Claudius II had banned marriages, believing married men were bad soldiers. St Valentine is thought to have arranged marriages in secret. Because of this, the Emperor imprisoned and sentenced St Valentine to death for his crimes. There, St Valentine apparently fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and sent her a love letter signed ‘from your Valentine’ on February 14th, the day of his execution, as a goodbye.
Wearing a coronet made from flowers and with a stencilled inscription, St Valentine’s skull now resides in the Chiesa di Santa Maria in Cosmedin, on Rome’s Piazza Bocca della Verità.
Who was Cupid?
Roman God of Love, young son of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty, and Ares, God of War. He is often depicted as a mischievous, winged child whose arrows pierce the hearts of his victims, causing them to fall in love.
According to legend, Cupid’s arrows come in two varieties: the Golden Arrow, which generally signifies true love, and the Leaden Arrow, which represents passion. He is also known to sometimes carry a torch with which to inflame desire between men and women.
Cupid is not always successful. Sometimes his arrows turn people away from those who fall in love with them. In some mythological tales, Venus was scratched by one of Cupid’s arrows while playing with her son, the result being that the Godddess fell instantly in love with Adonis (the first man she saw after receiving the wound).