World Book Encyclopedia says:
February 15 to ensure protection from wolves. During this celebration, young men struck people with strips of animal
hide. Women took the blows because they thought that the whipping made them more fertile.
After the Romans conquered Britain in A.D.43, the British borrowed many Roman festivals.
Many writers link the festival of Lupercalia with Valentine's Day because of the similar
date and the connection with fertility.
Two stories are then related in the article, of
men named Saint Valentine, and then it says:
The ancient Romans held the festival of Lupercalia on
Many stories say Valentine was executed on February 14 about A.D. 269.
The next sentence states the fact that:
In A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius named February 14 as St. Valentine's Day.
Another part of the celebration of the Roman Lupercalia, dedicated to
the fertility god Lupercus was a "love lottery," in which the names of women
were placed in a jar and drawn out by the young men to whom they would serve as companions
for the year.
In The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop traces
the development of the Babylonian mystery religion back to Semiramis, the wife of Noah's
great-grandson Nimrod. Speaking of the worship of Semiramis by the Babylonians, and how
she bore a child whom she declared was miraculously conceived (after the death of Nimrod),
Hislop says on page 21 that:
It was from the son, however, that she derived all her glory and her
claims to deification. That son, though represented as a child in his mother's arms, was a
person of great stature and immense bodily powers, as well as most fascinating manners. In
Scripture he is referred to (Ezek. viii. 14) under the name of Tammuz, but he is commonly
known among classical writers under the name of Bacchus, that is "The Lamented
On page 291 of Lectures on the Revelation, H.A. Ironside says:
From Babylon this mystery-religion spread to all the surrounding
nations, as the years went on and the world was populated by the descendants of Noah.
Everywhere the symbols were the same, and everywhere the cult of the mother and the child
became the popular system; their worship was celebrated with the most disgusting and
immoral practices. The image of the queen of heaven with the babe in her arms was seen
everywhere, though the names might differ as languages differed. It became the
mystery-religion of Phoenicia, and by the Phoenicians was carried to the ends of the
earth. Ashtoreth and Tammuz, the mother and child of these hardy adventurers, became Isis
and Horus in Egypt, Aphrodite and Eros in Greece, Venus and Cupid in Italy, and bore many
other names in more distant places. Within 1000 years Babylonianism had become the
religion of the world, which had rejected the Divine revelation.
In Egypt was the myth of Isis, "the Great Mother." Will
Durant, in volume one (pages 200-201) of his nine volume The Story of Civilization
The Egyptians worshiped her with especial fondness and piety, and
raised up jeweled images to her as the Mother of God; her tonsured priests praised her in
sonorous matins and vespers; and in midwinter of each year, coincident with the annual
rebirth of the sun towards the end of our December, the temples of her divine child, Horus
(god of the sun), showed her, in holy effigy, nursing in a stable the babe she had
In a later chapter of volume one of The Story of Civilization
(page 235) Durant says:
Ishtar (Astarte to the Greeks, Ashtoreth to the Jews) interests
us not only as analogue of the Egyptian Isis and prototype of the Grecian Aphrodite and
Roman Venus, but as the formal beneficiary of one of the strangest of Babylonian customs.
She was Demeter as well as Aphrodite--no mere goddess of physical beauty and love, but the
gracious divinity of bounteous motherhood, the secret inspiration of the growing soil, and
the creative principle everywhere. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . her worshipers
repeatedly addressed her as "The Virgin," "The Holy Virgin," and
" The Virgin Mother,". . . .
On pages 188- 189 of The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop
It was so in ancient Babylon, as is evident from the Babylonian
system as it appeared in Egypt. There also a "Sacred Heart" was venerated. The
"Heart" was one of the sacred symbols of Osiris when he was born again, and
appeared as Harpocrates, or the infant divinity, borne in the arms of his mother Isis.
Therefore, the fruit of the Egyptian Persea was peculiarly sacred to him, from its
resemblance to the "HUMAN HEART." Hence this infant divinity was frequently
represented with a heart, or the heart-shaped fruit of the Persea, in one of his hands. .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thus the boy-god came to be regarded as the
"god of the heart," in other words, as Cupid, or the god of love. To identify
this infant divinity, with his father "the mighty hunter," he was equipped with
"bow and arrows;" and in the hands of the poets, for the amusement of the
profane vulgar, this sportive boy-god was celebrated as taking aim with his gold-tipped
shafts at the hearts of mankind. His real character, however, as the above statement
shows, and as we have seen reason already to conclude, was far higher and of a different
kind. He was the woman's seed. Venus and her son Cupid, then, were none other than the
Madonna and the child.