The oldest feast of lovers is born in Persia. It’s called Sepandārmazgān feast, and dates back two thousand years ago, in the Great Persia. It falls close to Valentine’s Day (February 14th), celebration day is February 18th, 29th Bahman for Persian calendar, and it’s involved in Zoroastrian tradition.
On this day men celebrates women symbol of motherhood and therefore of Earth, they bring to the ladies gifts and willow flowers in tribute. Sepandarmazgan is the Guardian Angel of the Earth, symbol of friendship passion and modesty.
This feast was called also “Mard-Giran” (possession of men) by women, which protects the men power. Amesha Spenta means holy devotion and is the fourth of the divine emanations of Zoroaster, when he created the world.
In Israel, a man asks his beloved to marry him on Valentine’s cabalistic day, the 15th of the month of Av, August.
Tu B’Av is Valentine’s Day celebrated in Israel. In this festive day men make the promise of marriage, couples get married, or renew the promises.
According to the Talmud, Tu B’Av was a joyous festival in the time of Jerusalem Temple that marked the beginning of the harvest and the end was marked by Yom Kippur.
In these two dates unmarried girls of Jerusalem dressed in their white clothes and danced for vineyards. These were the most joyous feasts of entire Jewish calendar.
The feast recalls also the offer of the wood for the Temple, and the end of 40 years of wandering in the desert for men (women were forbidden to marry outside their tribe).
In the West we have well-known Valentine’s Day when in 1381, the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, tied to the celebration of this feast: he wrote a poem for the marriage of Richard II and Anne of Bohemia.
In 1600 the Shakespearean Ophelia to Hamlet remembered that the next day would be Valentine’s day.
Then again in the late America nineteenth-century, so that in Pairs it became tradition to exchange greeting cards: hearts and cupids, which became common practice even in the rest of the world over the Second World War.
VALENTINE: lovers’ Saint history and legend.
Valentine was born in Interamnia (Rome Prefecture, during Marcus Aurelius Empire) today Terni -Italy- in 175 AD, descendant of noble origins family.
Saint of lovers San Valentino – Terni
Valentine biography is very limited until the year in which he was ordained Bishop in Terni and the Nera Valley [he was consecrated by Foligno Bishop S.Feliciano], in the year 197 A.D. (According some sources).
Since that time, Valentine fame was always growing, because of his oratory with which he could convert pagans, and because of the long line of disciples, as San Castulo, Lucio, Saturnino and Magno and for miracles he made.
Valentino gained particularly fame as healer, and his attentions towards children, young people and sick people. Valentino actually claimed to be himself to heal, but the “Lord”.
One of the greatest miracles dates back to 225 A.D., the healing of Fonteo son, who says he kept his head between his knees.
The second miracle that led him to martyrdom, was the healing of Chaeremon son of Athenian Orator Craton. Being lame and bellowing like a bull, Craton decided to admit Valentine in his house, going against pagan religion principles.
Valentine prayers healed instantly Chaeremon.
After the miracle, Craton was baptized and the whole family.
Proculo disciples, Efebo, Apollonius and Abondio wanted to follow the master becoming Christians. Abondio was Annio Placido son, Prefectus Urbis, ie Prefect of Rome under Marcus Aureliuo Claudius and Aureliano Valeriano.
Annio Placido, attached toPaganism principles, was annoyed by Christian son’s choice. In 270d.C. he made kill Craton (greek and latin speaker), master of Eloquence and Philosophy of the son for having distracted from pagans Principles and publicly beat Valentine.
Violence on Valentine’s Day caused a riot, and Annio Placido had to lock him in jail and had him beheaded on charges of being a Christian.
The saint’s remains were gathered by Craton disciples, that Proculus, Efebo and Apollonius (became Christians). They wrapped his body in a shroud and put him on a chariot pulled by two horses left over, and followed by the disciples. They walked down the road Falminia, following the river Nera, and stopped right where the Basilica dedicated to the Saint to LXIII mile of the same street Flaminia. The three disciples bought with their own money the ground where the horses had stopped with the relics and dug a catacomb with a small central church and two side aisles.
The three disciples were slain as martyrs during the night of February 14, 273 A.D., [day dedicated to Valentine that does not correspond to the exact date of martyrdom] because denounced as Christians.
The bodies of three disciples of Valentino were buried next to the tomb of the Saint. An inscription reads: “In hac Basilica requiescit corpus S. Valentiny Martyris … Item corpora SS. Martyrum Proculi Ephebi et Apollonii Atheniensium, quos B. Valentine verb Erudit ad fidem, et coronam provocavit examplo “.
The Saint’s legend as protector of lovers comes from its focus on the children who left entrance to its magnificent garden full of roses and flowers.
The legend tells about protection that gave to a young girl of Terni and her lover, a young Roman soldier. The girl fell ill and Valentino sure of love of two young couple joined them in marriage, at the insistence of the boy.
Ideas, presents and celebrations for Valentine’s Day:
Sends a floral thought.