The origin of Valentine's Day is said to have its roots in the Roman feast of Lupercalia, a pagan love festival held in tribute to Juno, the goddess of women and marriage. During the festival, boys drew the random names of girls to whom they were then coupled for the duration of the springtime birds' mating season. Often these unions led to marriage, which did not sit well with Claudius II -- aka Claudius the Cruel -- who believed married men were less likely to become soldiers. Fearing the depletion of his army, the emperor subsequently banned all weddings. Around 269 A.D., however, Claudius II discovered a Christian priest named Valentine who had continued to join couples in secret; the priest was summarily beaten to death and decapitated on Feb. 14, during Lupercalia. Before his sentence was carried out, Valentine was said to have sent letters to those he held dear, signing them, "Remember your... More >>>