Here’s your random bee fact for the day: Did you know that St Valentine, the Patron Saint of Lovers, is also the Patron Saint of beekeepers!? (And epilepsy, and fainting, and plague. Makes sense.)
My research on St. Valentine over the years has turned up lots of confusing and conflicting stories, and in fact, even the Catholic resources I’ve read aren’t sure if there were one or two men identifying as St. Valentine. So in lieu of hard proven facts, I’ll just choose the stories I like the best and share those!
St. Valentine was imprisoned in Rome for trying to marrying Christian couples and aiding Christians being persecuted by the Emperor. On February 14, 269, he was sentenced to death and executed after refusing to renounce his Christianity.
But there’s more to the story of how February 14 became a day dedicated to love. A weird, dark story….
The Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, a Pagan fertility celebration, from February 13-15. Celebrations were violent and sexually charged, and included sacrificing of goats and dogs. Women were then whipped with the hides of the sacrificed animals to bestow fertility onto them.
As you can imagine, the Catholic Church didn’t love Lupercalia, and Pope Hilarius demanded Emperor Anthemius abolish it in 467 A.D. A later Pope, leaning into the fact that the festival already had elements of love and fertility associations, chose to replace it by naming February 14 the Feast Day of St. Valentine’s Day, named for the man known for marrying couples in secret.
Medieval Europeans believed that birds found their mates each year on St. Valentine’s Day, and Chaucer even wrote about a goddess helping to pair birds up on the Day in his poem “Parliament of Fowls.” By the 1800s Valentine’s Day had become a fully commercial holiday in the United States.
The story goes that St. Valentine was a lover of bees and a beekeeper himself, and therefore later was also named the Patron Saint of beekeepers, the caretakers of the bees. (Despite my best efforts, I still can’t figure out where epilepsy and plague come in.)
So in the oddest (and coolest way), honey makes the best Valentine’s Day gift!
I know we JUST finished the big holiday gift giving season, but St. Valentine’s Feast Day is just around the corner, and our HoneyGram makes the perfect Valentine’s Day gift 🧡 🧡
This quarter’s box includes a delight of aphrodisiac inspired treats:
🧡 Our own cinnamon creamed honey (one of our most popular items, and very seasonal and limited!)
🧡 Our Chili Pequin pepper Infused Honey
🧡 Madhu Chocolate Pistachio Chocolate Spread
🧡 Maui Fruit Jellies
In our new and improved HoneyGram, you can gift 1, 2, 3 or more quarterly boxes to you or someone you love right from our website! This means you can gift just one box, or more as your budget allows. Pickup or nationwide shipping available!!
NOTE: You must order by January 15 to get February’s box!