Saint Valentine’s Equal Marriage Connection (and what do Wolves have to do with Valentine’s Day, anyway?)

2014 blog hop picThis is my post for The Power of Gay Love 2014 Blog Hop. At the end, I’ll tell you how you can win $14.00 to spend on sexy, romantic books at Dreamspinner Press.

Every year, chocolatiers and florists make an unholy mint on February 14th, Valentine’s day. Couples are making their first declarations of love (or lust as the case maybe), others proposing marriage, and others smiling, crying, or quaking through their wedding vows. Thank all the powers that be, in some states, some of those couples who are getting married are gay.

But what makes February 14th the romantic pinnacle of the year? The day is named after a Christian (Catholic) Saint who allegedly was martyred on that day. Yes, martyred, as in put to death whilst taking a stand for a cause, which doesn’t seem very romantic, in the sense of love and happily ever after. Of course, as soon as someone says that, someone’s conscience will lead them to proclaim that, like just about every other “Christian” holiday, the celebration had pagan origins—and they’re right.

In fact, ancient Romans celebrated Lupercalia on February 13th – 15th,, commemorating (who else?) Romulus and Remus, the twin hotties who, after being suckled by a wolf in a cave called the Lupercal, grew up to found Rome. “Ah,” you say, glancing back at my title. “There is the wolf connection, right there.” Well, yes, but the connection is multi-faceted and a lot more convoluted. You see, the festival was connected with the Roman God Lupercus, represented by a wolf, who strangely enough was the God of shepherds. Yes, Roman shepherds worshipped the wolf—and I’m sure they had their reasons. During the festival a goat (standing in for a sheep?) and a dog (standing in for a wolf?) were sacrificed, and salt cakes prepared by vestal virgins were burnt. Okay, vestal virgins/romance, a vague connection, but a step further reveals that Lupercus was sometimes identified with Faunus, the Roman version of Pan.

Okay, Pan. Not so much romance, but hot sex with glorious abandon. That’s possibly a connection. And in fact, before the Roman holiday, a Greek festival on the ides (13th) of February celebrated Lykaia (the wolf-god) and Pan (the pleasure and chaos god, or at least that’s how I like to think of the little devil).

But we’re still a far cry from the public vow of love (or at least commitment) which we know as marriage, and especially (see title of post), equality of marriage rights. For that, we must return to the story of the martyr, Valentine. There are many stories about the man, but it is agreed he was a real fellow and did indeed get martyred on February 14th by the Roman emperor Claudius II in the 3rd century of the common era (AD). One story about why he was martyred… wait for it… wait for it… he was performing marriages for Christians! Apparently, Christians in 3rd century Rome did not enjoy marriage equality, and our dear Saint Valentine defied the powers that were, either just because he wanted to, or because he believed love is love, marriage is marriage. (Or else he didn’t do it at all, as no one knows for sure.)

To further muddy the waters, there are a dozen or so Saints Valentine. That’s unimportant, as the February 14th date is definitely connected with the forward thinker I mentioned above, identified for disambiguation as Valentine of Rome. But it does tickle the imagination—what if we celebrated a smexy holiday for each of them?

As a last little tidbit of information, in medieval times, Valentine’s Day may already have been a celebration of love, courtly and/or marital. Chaucer took note that on February 14th, birds find their mates. Also humans, for he wrote:

For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day when every foul (fool) cometh ther (sic) to choose his mate.

So, go forth and give chocolates, send bouquets, kiss, make love, and marry the person of your dreams no matter the gender and (possibly thanks to Saint Valentine) even if you’re Christian.

So yeah, comment below, tell me something lovely about Valentine’s day, or the reason you loathe it, if that’s the case, and you’ll be in the drawing for $14 spending cash at Dreamspinner–and they just happen to be having a sale!



Filed under 2014 The Power of Gay Love Blog Hop, Contests, Dreamspinner Press

28 Responses to Saint Valentine’s Equal Marriage Connection (and what do Wolves have to do with Valentine’s Day, anyway?)

  1. trishaharry

    I love it and hate it. I love it when people use Valentines Day as an excuse to be more romantic and do something special for the person they love. What I despise is people spending more money than they have and forcing something. Something that would make Valentines Day special for me would be to spend it with the person I love and doing something together. 😀

    The giveaway is awesome!

  2. Not a fan of the holiday–it’s a lot of pressure to “one up” either the mythical Joneses or whatever one did the previous year. Plus, it’s one more day when singles are made to feel less-than. *shrug*

    That said, I’m a hopeless romantic and a part of me thinks next year will be different…better… Every year I think that. *lol*

    Happy V-Day!

    • Good point, Charley! And yes, I sit here with only my cat Boudreau trying to love on me, but you never know (my motto), next year could be the year, or even tomorrow could be the day! Thanks, (and you’re in the drawing.)


  3. Shirley Ann Speakman

    I think Valentines Day is so wonderful when you receive a card from the person you hope will send you one. I believe Love is for everyone.

  4. V-day is like any other day for me. I don’t much care for it but I don’t hate it. An expression of love should be a everyday kind of thing not one day in the year thing that forces you to have to show someone you think they’re special through dinner, flowers,etc.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  5. Lisa G

    I’m not a big fan. I usually celebrate with a nice dinner & maybe a movie out with my husband – he knows I’m not a chocolate or flower kind of girls.

  6. DebraG

    I hate the commercialism but love the true meaning. It is not a special day just one for me to celebrate with my husband. I loved your post. Caught me right away.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    • Agreed! The commercial aspect, as with all “holidays” has gone way over the top. Love is all the time, but a special day to celebrate it doesn’t hurt at all, I think. Thanks for commenting, and I’m happy you liked my rambling. I’ve added your name for the drawing.

  7. Trix

    I hate that Valentine’s Day is so often used to make singles feel inadequate, and I’m sure couples feel pressured to live up to some artificial and cliched standard of what romance should be. I do like the idea of having less commercial and dictatorial opportunities to show you love someone, and the excuse to eat chocolate today (I don’t need one, but some people do!


    • Hey Trix! Nice to see your comment here. I have to say, I’m not sure the people who celebrate it are using the holiday to make singles feel inadequate, though unfortunately that may result. When I was part of a couple, the thing I didn’t like about V-day wasn’t feeling I needed to compete with other couples, but worrying whether what I planned for my SO would be on a par with what they planned for me–didn’t want to overdo or understate! It was stressful. Thanks for reading and commenting, and of course you are entered!

  8. I had a bunch of friends over last night, all mateless, and we celebrated S.A.D. (singles awareness day) with a nice, home cooked meal and a marathon of cheesy scifi movies. Not one heart or rose in sight. It was great.
    Thanks for the giveaway,
    Kathy C

    • Good idea! I’d never heard of S.A.D. until this year. I have often viewed V-day as more universal than romantic love, and have always given kids and friends tokens to celebrate other kinds of love, and I guess having a nice dinner with friends is another way of doing that. Kudos. Thanks and your name is in the hat.

  9. Erik twisk

    I love and hate it we don’t give each other gift but we send each other nice iMessages and email with a lot if emicon hearts

  10. bn100

    like the candy

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  11. sherry1969

    The only good thing about Valentine’s Day is the candy. It’s just another day to me.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  12. julielhayes

    Being separated and not dating, I have no romantic other, although I’m a romantic at heart, so I celebrated Valentine’s Day with my daughter, eating pizza and wings (generously sent by my son in Hawaii) and watching a movie. Great evening!

    Thanks for joining the Blog Hop!


    • Thanks for coming by, Julie! I always like being inclusive on Valentine’s. This year I didn’t get out to get stuff for my grandson’s. When they came in after school, I told the two youngest that (ages 10 and 12). The both said “that’s okay,” and then the oldest said, “All we need is your love, Gramma!” I’m glad you left your comment, and doing the hop was certainly my pleasure!

  13. Shorty Chelle

    Romance is great but I’d rather be romantic in private. Although I’ve been single for a long time now. lol.

  14. And the winner is… Shorty Chelle! Congrats, and expect an email!

    Great big thanks to everyone who read and commented. It’s been fun!


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