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Valentine’s Day is full of Cupid’s Love Potions and Aphrodisiacs

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.

My favorite Valentine’s Day symbol is the figure of the winged Cupid. Cupid is often shown drawing his bow to inspire romantic love, often as an icon of Valentine’s Day.

On February 14th, we celebrate Valentine’s Day to honor Saint Valentine; or the Feast of Saint Valentine. Valentine’s Day is celebration of romantic love in many regions around the world. Sip some champagne and share some chocolates with your favorite sweeties. Book a romantic dinner filled with full of Love Potions and Aphrodisiacs.

Saint Valentine of Rome was a priest who was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers, who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians who sere persecuted under the Roman Empire. He was martyred in 269 and was added to the calendar of saints by Pope Galesius in 496 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. The relics of Saint Valentine were kept in the Church and Catacombs of San Valentino in Rome, which “remained an important pilgrim site throughout the Middle Ages until the relics of St. Valentine were transferred to the church of Santa Prassede during the pontificate of Nicholas IV“. The flower-crowned skull of Saint Valentine is exhibited in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome.

Eros bow Musei Capitolini MC410.jpg

Cupid is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. He is often portrayed as the son of the love goddess Venus and the war god Mars. He is also known in Latin as Amor (“Love”).

Cupid is winged, allegedly because lovers are flighty and likely to change their minds, and boyish because love is irrational. His symbols are the arrow and torch, “because love wounds and inflames the heart.” The image above is a blindfolded, armed Cupid (1452/66) by Piero della Francesca.

Cupid sculpture by Bertel Thorvaldsen

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath love’s mind of any judgement taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.
And therefore is love said to be a child
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled

Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1590s)

My favorite cupid is Caravaggio’s Victorious Love, also known as Love Conquers All (Amor Vincit Omnia), in which a brazenly naked Cupid tramples on emblems of culture and erudition representing music, architecture, warfare, and scholarship.

The motto comes from the Augustan poet Vergil, writing in the late 1st century BC.

Omnia vincit Amor: et nos cedamus Amori.
Love conquers all, and so let us surrender ourselves to Love.

Happy Valentine’s Day from www.vino-con-vista.com

 

 

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