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Cupid, Roman god of love is perhaps the most famous of all Valentine symbols. He has always played a role in the celebration of romance, hence the depiction of Cupid as the winged child in Valentine's cards of today. As the son of Venus, Roman goddess of Beauty and Fertility, he is often depicted as a mischievous child whose arrows pierce the hearts of his victims, causing them to fall in love. Cupid comes from the Latin word cupido, which means "desire."

Cupid was not always successful in his endeavours, however. Sometimes his arrows turned people away from those who fall in love with them. In some mythological tales, Venus was scratched by one of Cupid's arrows while playing with her son, the result being that the godddess fell instantly in love with Adonis, the first man she saw after receiving the wound.

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