Entertainment of 2014-02-15

Valentine`s day is a repackaged

of ancient roman pagans festival called lupercalia. Lupercalia was an ancient Roman festival. It is also known as Februatio, which is where we get the name for our month of February. It was popular among many of the new converts to the quick-rising Catholic Church, and as celebrations. It was an annual three-day ritual performed between the period of 13 to 15 February to ward off evil spirit associated with infertility with the belief to increase fertility. In this festival, people were severely beaten with strips of animals` skin called februa in order to obtain fertility. This inhumane practice was condemned and banned towards the end of the fifth century. Though Pope Gelasius officially condemned the pagan Roman festival and banned its observance at the end of the fifth century, many of its accompanying practices quickly appeared in a newly established holiday added by him to the official church list of feast days in A.D. 496—St. Valentine's Day. HOW IT METAMORPHOSED INTO VALENTINE`S DAY The Roman Empire at that time, under the reign of Emperor Claudius II was under constant foreign invasions and attacks from its enemies. He therefore needed strong energetic young men in the army to defend its borders. So he passed a law prohibiting marriage of young men. He believed that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to them or their wives or families if they died. St. Valentine, who was a Roman priest at the time, was a propagandist of Christian marriages and winning souls into the Christian faiths – Catholicism. So upon hearing this law he defiled it, he went ahead to perform secret marriage ceremonies for young couples in secret locations. What seemed to have aggravated the Emperor`s anger was that he engaged the young soldiers in weddings ceremonies. St. Valentine was arrested and interrogated by the Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed and sentenced to a three part execution of beating, stoning, and finally beheaded all because of his stand for Christian marriage. During his imprisonment, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing Julia, the blind daughter of his jailer Asterius. Before his execution he wrote a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell to that girl. Other source has it that Valentine was in a secret love with the girl. However the content of that letter is not known till date. When Lupercalia was banned, the Pagans were in desperation to obtain the spirit of fertility. So they turned their focus to St. Valentine, the patron saint of "engaged couples and anyone wishing to marry". So St. Valentine continued to offer prayers of fertility and conducted secret marriage ceremonies until his arrest. After the death of St. Valentine, the annual celebration of Lupercalia which was observed between the period of February 13 to 15, was celebrated on the 14th February and later renamed as Valentine`s day because St. Valentine died on that day. Valentine`s day should have been celebrated as a day of “stand your faith” because that was what St. Valentine stood for or did. Even at the point of death he never denounced his religion. Friendship and sending cards are wonderful things, and God is not opposed to romance at the right time in the right way. But does the pagan religious history of Valentine's Day taint the modern practices? What does God have to say about observing pagan traditions, renamed or not? "When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess…do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.' You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods... Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it" (Deuteronomy 12:29-32) Though the practices of Lupercalia have been repackaged and dressed up in the form of Valentine's Day, these verses indicate they remain just as detestable as they have always been in our Creator's eyes. Instead of pagan days and practices, our focus should be on the Holy Days God has given us in the Bible, which point us toward His amazing and incomparable plan for all of humanity. Writer`s email: chibaronet@gmail.com https://m.facebook.com/chibaro.ali References: http://www.ucg.org/bible-faq/where-did-valentines-day-come-it-wrong-christian-celebrate-it http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/ChurchandMinistry/churchhistory/st_valentine_the_real_story.aspx Wikipedia.Source: Chibaro Ali
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