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A Kabyle behind St. Valentine’s Day

“Psyche revived by the kiss of love”. From the work to the Berber writer Apuleius .
St. Valentine’s Day, the 14th of February is considered in many countries as the feast of love and friendship. The couples take the opportunity to exchange sweet words and gifts as signs of love, and red roses that are the passion emblem. In the original Catholic celebration before the Middle Ages, the feast of St. Valentine was not associated with romantic love but with physical love. The party is now associated with mutual exchange of “love letters” or Valentines illustrated with symbols like a heart or a winged eros. The story behind Valentine’s Day in ancient Rome, February 15 was named the festival of Lupercalia or Lupercus, the god of fertility, which is represented with a goatskin. The priests of Lupercus sacrificed goats to God, and after drinking wine, they walked through the streets of Rome half-naked and touching passers by holding portions of goat skin in their hands. The young women were very happy to be touched because it meant fertility and light births. The ceremony honored pagan Juno, Roman goddess for women and marriage, and Pan, the god of nature. At least three different saints were named Valentin, and all three were martyrs. Their feast was set on February 14 by the decree of the great exporter of Berber culture, namely the Kabyle Pope Gelasius I, around 498.

– Valentine of Rome, a priest who suffered martyrdom in Rome in the second half of the third century and was buried on Via Flaminia.
– Valentine Terni, a bishop of Interamma (the modern Terni), who also suffered martyrdom in the second half of the third century and was also buried on Via Flaminia.
– A martyr in North Africa, as it has not been written about.

In his book “La Mia Vita”, written in Italian, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was believed to Pope Benedict XVI, wrote: “Shouldn’t Europe today include North Africa, instead of the Nordic countries? Their addition to our intellectual and philosophical heritage of civilization and crystallization of today’s concepts defined “European roots” is a central reference: Works of Tertullian, St. Cyprian, St. Augustine, Pope Gelasius 1st, etc …


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