...or the devolution of St. Valentine's day. According to the experts, blame Chaucer. In his Parliament of Fowls (remember how Lewis borrows that?), he writes:
For this was on St. Valentine's Day,
When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate.
And from that little line in a poem few remember came the shift from agape to eros on this day and the booming commercial success.
St. Valentine used to be remembered (before Rome axed the poor man in 1969) for this: that he was a priest who gave up his life rather than renouncing his Savior. This happened under Claudius II in 270. Thus, St. Valentine witnessed to the love that neither hatred, torture or death can destroy. "For the present sufferings are not worth being compared with the glory which shall be revealed."
Nowadays, as near as I can tell, the only folks commemorating St. Valentine (for Agape, not Eros) are the Missouri Synod Lutherans (hey, at least it is the Commemoration listed for today in the LSB calendar) and the Western Rite Orthodox - maybe also the Anglo-catholics, but I don't have the resources to check that one out.
If you want to hear more thoughts on the day, check into Issues, Etc. (www.kfuo.org) tomorrow when they post the 1/2 segment that Pr. Wilken and I did this afternoon.