Every February, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday? The history of Valentine's Day and its patron saint - is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.
To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification.
Big Valentine Cookies
This recipe belongs to you:
1 package (18 ounces) refrigerated cookie dough (any flavor, such as Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chunk, Chocolate Chip & White Fudge, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Reduced Fat Chocolate Chip or Sugar Cookie Dough)
Decorator icing (optional)
Valentine's candies (optional)
Melted chocolate (optional)
1. SHAPE an entire package of cookie dough into heart shape on greased baking sheet. (Note: Be sure dough is well-chilled before shaping.)
2. BAKE according to package directions, adding 3 to 4 minutes to the baking time on the package. Cool on baking sheet for 1 minute; carefully loosen cookie with spatula. Cool on baking sheet completely.
3. DECORATE with candies, icing and melted chocolate.