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Uploaded on Feb 11, 2010
While the origin of Valentine's Day remains foggy, one thing is clear: the church that houses the head of "St. Valentine" is in the area where an ancient Roman fertility festival was held for centuries. Called the Lupercalia, this festival was dedicated to Faunus, the Roman shepherd god. Priests of Faunus, who you might recognize by his Greek name Pan, used to sacrifice animals in the cave where the She-Wolf nursed Romulus and Remus. This cave, called the Lupercal (wolf's den)--the exact location of which is not known-- is certainly only meters from Santa Maria in Cosmedin. Besides housing the skull of St. Valentine and the Bocca della Verita, Santa Maria in Cosmedin is packed with history and you can even see the Mouth of Truth, one of Rome's best photo opportunities. If you are in Rome you must visit this great little basilica. If you are not then at least this video will tell you everything you know about the church and the possible origins of Valentin's Day.