Some people think that the Roman festival Lupercalia (wolf-festival) was the beginning of Valentine’s Day. Wikipedia says that Lupercalia was celebrated on February 15 in ancient Rome. It was to “avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility.
Fertility. Ladies, we know what that means. Doing the dirty on a schedule.
The Catholic church came along and outlawed Lupercalia. In true high church fashion, they co-opted the feast, the cleansing, the purity, and the fertility. They gave us Valentine’s day. Still sex on a schedule, but at least we get chocolate.