A report on Candlemas and Pope Gelasius I

Blessing of candles on Candlemas at an American Episcopal church
Statue of Gelasius I, Schloss Stainz
Candlemas day by Marianne Stokes, 1901
Image of c. AD 870 featuring the coronation of Charles the Bald, flanked by Gelasius I and Gregory the Great. Gelasius' writings gave him a high status with posterity.
The presentation of the Lord in the temple by Fra Bartolomeo, 1516
Crêpes are a traditional food on La Chandeleur
Our Lady of Light (patron of the Canary Islands). The Virgin of Candles is depicted in the manner of a Black Madonna.
Diablada puneña during the Fiesta de la Candelaria in Peru.

Although the Lupercalia was a festival of purification, which had given its name "dies februatus", from "februare" ("to purify"), to the month of February, it was unrelated to the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also commonly denominated "Candlemas", which latter feast commemorates the fulfillment of the Holy Family's ceremonial obligations pursuant to Mosaic law 40 days after the birth of the first son.

- Pope Gelasius I

Pope Gelasius I (492–496) contributed to the spread of the celebration, but did not invent it.

- Candlemas
Blessing of candles on Candlemas at an American Episcopal church

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Lupercalia most likely derives from lupus, "wolf", though both the etymology and its significance are obscure (bronze wolf's head, 1st century AD)

Lupercalia

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Pastoral festival of Ancient Rome observed annually on February 15 to purify the city, promoting health and fertility.

Pastoral festival of Ancient Rome observed annually on February 15 to purify the city, promoting health and fertility.

Lupercalia most likely derives from lupus, "wolf", though both the etymology and its significance are obscure (bronze wolf's head, 1st century AD)
The Lupercalian Festival in Rome (ca. 1578–1610), drawing by the circle of Adam Elsheimer, showing the Luperci dressed as dogs and goats, with Cupid and personifications of fertility
Caesar Refuses the Diadem (1894), when it was offered by Mark Antony during the Lupercalia

Pope Gelasius I (494–96) claimed that only the "vile rabble" were involved in the festival and sought its forceful abolition; the Roman Senate protested that the Lupercalia was essential to Rome's safety and well-being.

There is no contemporary evidence to support the popular notions that Gelasius abolished the Lupercalia, or that he, or any other prelate, replaced it with the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.