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Saint Valentine

February 14 is Valentine's Day. "Saint" has been dropped from the name. TV interviewed young women and asked then what they wanted to receive. The majority said diamonds or jewelry. "Diamonds are a girl's best friend". Ha! Someone who wanted a presidential favor from President Lincoln, whose birthday is February 12, gave that spendthrift Mrs. Lincoln a diamond brooch, and she obliged Lincoln to grant the favor. As for Valentine's Day, I have not heard a single reference to St. Valentine, another example of the reduction of religious festivals to pagan shopping sprees.

Who was the real Saint Valentine? Actually there may have been two, both martyrs. Their festival became confused with the Roman Lupercalia, February 15, the feast of Lupercus, a pastoral god associated with fertility. Since the life of Saint Valentine is so uncertain, the Vatican abolished the feast day in 1969, so now the holiday is merely secular. My guess is that the saint is glad not to be associated with a girl's best friend.

Ronald Hilton - 2/13/03