Lupercalia was an ancient pastoral annual festival observed in the city of Rome between February 13 and February 15, to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility.
At the Lupercal altar, a male goat and a dog were sacrificed by one or another of the Luperci, under the supervision of the Flamen dialis, Jupiter's chief priest, after which two of the Luperci were led to the altar, their foreheads were touched with a bloody knife, and the blood was wiped off with wool dipped in milk Next the Luperci cut thongs from the flayed skin of the animal, and ran with these, naked or near-naked, in an anticlockwise direction around the hill. These gross whips were called, februare.
He was born in Bevagna in Umbria; and beame active in painting in the Palazzo Barberini as well as in Antonio Barberini's favored church, Santa Maria della Concezione, where he painted the Assumption of the Virgin on the dome. He painted a Triumph of Constantine for the Baptistery of the Lateran Palace, and painted for Taddeo Barberini, two large canvases (1638–39) depicting Massacre of the Niobids and Hunt of Diana. He also painted a Saints Bonaventura, Bernardino & Ludovico da Tolosa for Santa Caterina in Rapecchiano (Spello). More on Andrea Camassei
Lupercalia was also celebrated by the Christian populace on a regular basis into the reign of the emperor Anastasius. Pope Gelasius I (494–96) claimed that only the "vile rabble" were involved in the festival and sought its forceful abolition. Pope Gelasius I eliminated the pagan feast and declared February 14 a day to celebrate the martyrdom of Saint Valentine instead, although it’s highly unlikely he intended the day to commemorate love and passion.
Although the Roman Catholic Church continues to recognize St. Valentine as a saint of the church, he was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969 because of the lack of reliable information about him. He is the patron saint of lovers, epileptics, and beekeepers. More on St. Valentine
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