St Valentine, we send your cards, and yet we know, it's not your day. Our customs seem remote from you -- more Lupercalia, they say. Then priests with leather thongs would strike and cure the sterile girls -- and at the same time use the charm to banish wolves that roamed the hills.
The tradition of St Valentine's Day (some say) is a remembrance of Rome's earliest days when ravenous wolves roamed the countryside where shepherds grazed their sheep. These shepherds were the earliest inhabitants of Rome. Watching over these shepherds and their flocks was the God named Lupercus (lupus = "wolf"). The Feast of Lupercalia was celebrated on the 13th and 14th of February to honour Lupercus. Maidens who were "up for it" would put their names in a box and the lads would draw lots. The pairings would hold good for a year. With the coming of Christianity the church attempted to replace the pagan festival with one of its own. Youths and maidens drew names from the box, but the names of saints, whose lives they were meant to emulate for a year. The church chose St Valentine to replace the pagan Lupercus.