Who Was Saint Valentine And What Did He Do


6 Surprising Facts About St. Valentine

1. There is a possibility that the St. Valentine who originated the celebration was two separate individuals. St. Valentine, who is officially acknowledged by the Roman Catholic Church, is believed to have been a genuine person who died about the year 270. Although his actual identity was questioned as early as A.D. 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who described the victim and his actions as “known only to God,” it was not until A.D. 496 that the martyr’s true identity was established. As described in a historical story from the 1400s, Valentine was a temple priest who was murdered near Rome by emperor Claudius II for assisting Christian couples in their marriage.

Because of the parallels between these testimonies, it is believed that they may be referring to the same individual.

Valentine that it would no longer be appropriate to venerate him during liturgical services.


  • The saint who is commemorated on Valentine’s Day is officially recognized as St.
  • Because the name “Valentinus” (derived from the Latin word meaning worthy, strong, or powerful) was a popular appellation between the second and ninth centuries A.D., countless martyrs have been known to bear this name throughout history.
  • Among the most recent saints to be elevated to the level of sainthood is St.
  • In 1988, Pope John Paul II declared Berrio-Ochoa to be a saint.
  • 3.
  • Saints are expected to keep themselves occupied in the afterlife, and this is certainly the case.


Naturally, people seek his assistance in keeping an eye on their loved ones’ life.

Moreover, as you might guess, he is the patron saint of engaged couples as well as of happy marriages.

The Valentine’s skull may be found in the city of Rome.

Valentine, which has been decorated with flowers, is on display at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome.


According to tradition, these fragments and portions of the late saint’s corpse were then sent to reliquaries all across the world, where they remain today.

Valentine’s skeleton can be seen on exhibit in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England, and France, among other places.

Chaucer, a medieval English poet, was known for taking liberties with history, setting his lyrical figures in fabricated historical circumstances that he presented as true in his works of fiction.

In his poem “Parliament of Foules,” he draws a connection between a history of courtly love and the celebration of St.

When it comes to finding a spouse, birds (and people) gather on February 14th, according to the poet’s description.


Because there are so many Saint Valentines on the Roman Catholic calendar, you can choose to commemorate the saint on several occasions throughout the year.

Valentine of Viterbo on November 3, which is a day other than February 14.

Valentine of Raetia on January 7 to get a head start on the usual Valentine festivities.

Valentine (Valentina), who was killed in Palestine on July 25, 308 A.D.

as a virgin. As an elder of the church on July 6th, the Eastern Orthodox Church also commemorates St. Valentine as a martyr on July 30th, with the first commemoration taking place on July 6th as a martyr. MORE INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT: Valentine’s Day has a long and colorful history.

Who was Saint Valentine and why was he executed? love letters explained

Around 145 million cards are sent each year from lovers and spouses, with 25 million of them being sent in the United Kingdom.

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However, the history behind this date is really extremely gruesome, since it involves Saint Valentine in the year 269 AD. Written letters to the daughter of his captor’s daughter, inscribed “from your valentine,” were sent by Saint Valentine (Picture: Shutterstock) Here’s what we know about Saint Valentine, as well as why we commemorate his life on February 14th each year. Who was Saint Valentine, and what was his significance? Valentine was a priest or bishop in Rome around the third century after Christ, and he was known as the “Saint Valentine.” He is said to have been imprisoned by Roman emperor Claudius II as a result of his deception and refusal to comply with the emperor’s instructions to cease conducting Christian weddings.

  1. The Roman emperor Claudius had legislated against Christian doctrine because he did not want people to worship anybody else except himself.
  2. His friendship with Claudius became stronger, but when he attempted to convert the emperor to Christianity, he was sentenced to death.
  3. Claudius’ daughter is not believed to have had an intimate relationship with Saint Valentine, according to tradition.
  4. Pope Gelasius designated February 14th as Saint Valentine’s Day in 496 AD to commemorate the Christian martyr who died on this day.
  5. Saint Valentine was venerated as a patron saint of love and passion during the upper middle ages (1000-1250 AD).
  6. This features an artwork from a French 14th-century book depicting Valentine supervising the construction of his church in Terni, Italy.
  7. He is still revered as a saint by the Catholic Church, and his feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, on February 14, which is his death anniversary.
  8. Lover’s Day is celebrated on February 14th, and Valentine is the patron saint of epilepsy and beekeepers.
  9. As a result of the legend that he signed his farewell letter with the words “from your Valentine,” the custom of sending and receiving anonymous Valentine cards, letters, and poetry from lovers began.
  10. “For this was despatched on Seynt Valentyne’s day / When every foul cometh ther to pick his mate,” he said.
  11. Valentine’s Day will be celebrated by roughly 75% of individuals in the United Kingdom, with millenials spending the most – approximately £32 per person.

A quarter of couples who are not living together will break lockdown to visit their spouse this year, according to Finder.co.uk, while others will arrange Zoom evenings and look forward to being together later in the year.

St. Valentine – Saints & Angels

Saint Valentine, also known as Saint Valentine of Rome, is a third-century Roman saint who is widely commemorated on February 14 and is connected with “courtly love.” Saint Valentine is also recognized as the patron saint of lovers. Although little is known about St. Valentine’s life, and whether or not the stories about him are about two different saints with the same name has not been definitively determined, it is widely accepted that he was martyred and then buried on the Via Flaminia, north of Rome, near the site of the current Vatican City State.

  1. Valentine, the Roman Catholic Church decided to remove him from the General Roman Calendar in 1969.
  2. The traditions that have been attributed to the enigmatic saint are just as contradictory as the real identity of the guy himself.
  3. Valentine is that, as the previous Bishop of Terni, Narnia, and Amelia, he spent a period of his life under the supervision of Judge Asterius, who placed him under house imprisonment.
  4. Valentine and his religious beliefs were instantly put to the test by the court.
  5. Valentine was entrusted with the blind daughter of the judge, and he was instructed to restore her sight.
  6. Valentine was able to restore the child’s vision by placing his palms over her eyes.
  7. Asterius and his family, as well as the entire 44-member household, were baptized after destroying all of the idols in and around their home, fasting for three days, and repenting.


He was transported to Rome by the emperor Claudius Gothicus (Claudius II) (Claudius II).

Valentine, the Nuremberg Chronicle.

Valentine was imprisoned for marrying Christian couples and helped Christians being persecuted by Claudius in Rome.

The saint and the emperor began to develop a personal friendship, and Valentine even sought to persuade Claudius to convert to Christianity.

On February 14, 269, St.

Other accounts of St.

Other portrayals of St.

Another version of the history of St.

On the day of his execution, he left a message for the girl, which said, “Your Valentine,” in the margins.

It is possible that the romantic element of Valentine’s Day originated during the Middle Ages, when it was thought that birds matched couples around the middle of the month of February.

Although the original origin of the festival is not commonly agreed upon, it is largely known as a day for love, devotion and passion.

Valentine, whomever he was, did in fact exist, since archaeologists have discovered a Roman catacomb and an old chapel dedicated to St. Valentine, proving that he existed. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius declared the 14th of February to be a day of commemoration in remembrance of his sacrifice.

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  • Help Now St.
  • In the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome, there is a skull of St.
  • The Valentine relics were discovered in the catacombs of Saint Hippolytus on the Via Tiburtina in 1836 and were later determined to be those of Saint Valentine.
  • The gift from Pope Gregory XVI to Fr.
  • Valentine and was given to him by the Pope.

In addition to the Church of St Peter and Paul at Vysehrad in Prague, alleged relics were discovered in the parish church of St Mary’s Assumption in Chelmno, Poland, at the reliquary of Roquemaure in France, at the Stephansdom in Vienna, at Balzan, Malta, and at Blessed John Duns Scotus’ church in the Gorbals district of Glasgow, Scotland.

Valentine as their patron saint.

A image of him with birds and roses may be found in many places, and his feast day is commemorated on February 14.

Why St. Valentine Is the Patron Saint of Love

In the Christian tradition, Saint Valentine is known as the patron saint of love. His life, according to believers, was used by God to accomplish miracles and educate others how to recognize and experience genuine love. This well-known saint, an Italian doctor who subsequently became a priest, is credited with inspiring the establishment of the celebration of Valentine’s Day in the United States. He was imprisoned for officiating at weddings for couples at a time when new marriages were prohibited in ancient Rome, which led to his imprisonment.

Before he was executed for refusing to renounce his religion, he wrote a love letter to a little girl he had been assisting in the education of, who happened to be the daughter of his jailer. This letter later became the basis for the practice of giving Valentine’s cards.


The year of his birth is uncertain, but he died in Italy around 270 AD.

Feast Day

The 14th of February

Patron Saint Of

Weddings, engagements, greetings to the young and the young at heart, tourists, beekeepers, persons with epilepsy, and a plethora of churches


Saint Valentine was a Catholic priest who had also served as a physician at one point in his life. During the third century AD, he resided in Italy and worked as a priest in the city of Rome. There is little information available concerning Valentine’s early life, according to historians. Following Valentine’s initiation into the priesthood, they continue up the tale where it left off. Valentine became well-known by marrying couples who were in love but couldn’t legally be married in Rome under the reign of Emperor Claudius II, who forbade marriages.

  1. Claudius desired to recruit a large number of men to serve as soldiers in his army, and he believed that marriage would be a barrier to enlisting fresh recruits in his army.
  2. When Emperor Claudius learned that Valentine was conducting weddings, he imprisoned Valentine and ordered him to be executed.
  3. Valentine made a friend in his jailer, Asterious, who was so taken with Valentine’s intelligence that he requested Valentine to assist his daughter, Julia, with her schoolwork.
  4. Julia was legally blind and required someone to read stuff to her so that she could learn it.
  5. Valentine gained popularity with Emperor Claudius as well.
  6. Moreover, not only did Valentine refuse to abandon his religious beliefs, but he also pushed Emperor Claudius to invest his faith in Christ as well.
  7. As a result of Valentine’s reaction, Emperor Claudius was so furious that he ordered Valentine’s execution.
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The First Valentine

Valentine penned a final message to Julia before he was assassinated, encouraging her to remain close to Jesus and thanking her for the privilege of being his friend. “From your Valentine,” he wrote at the bottom of the message. On the 14th of February, Valentine’s Feast Day, which is observed on the same day that Valentine was murdered, individuals were encouraged to write their own love words to those they care about. Valentine was beaten, stoned, and decapitated on the 14th of February in the year 270 AD.

During the year 496, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th to be the official feast day of Saint Valentine.

Famous Miracles of Saint Valentine

The goodbye message that Saint Valentine delivered to Julia was the most well-known miracle ascribed to him, and it is the subject of this article. Christians believe that God miraculously healed Julia of her eyesight so that she could directly read Valentine’s message rather than having it read to her by someone else, as she had previously done. Many individuals have prayed for Valentine to plead on their behalf before God regarding their love relationships in the years following his death. In the years after praying to Saint Valentine for assistance, a large number of couples have reported experiencing miraculous changes in their relationships with their partners, girlfriends, and husbands.

History of St. Valentine

What was the life of Saint Valentine like, and how did he come to be the inspiration for Valentine’s Day? Three separate Saint Valentines are named in the early martyrologies, all of whom share the date of February 14th as their feast day. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of historical evidence. St. Valentine was born in Rome and trained as a priest and physician. During the persecution of Emperor Claudius II, the Goth, he, together with St. Marius and his family, comforted the martyrs in their suffering.

  • Valentine was caught, condemned to death for his beliefs, tortured with clubs, and eventually decapitated on February 14, AD 270.
  • Several centuries later, Pope Julius I (333-356) constructed a basilica on the site, which still houses St.
  • Evidence of the tomb of St.
  • He was canonized in the thirteenth century and his remains were moved to the Church of Saint Praxedes, which is located near the Basilica of St.
  • Another notable addition is the construction of a small church near the Flaminian Gate of Rome, which is now known as the Porta del Popolo but was known as “the Gate of St.
  • 1143), who is second only to St.
  • The Bishop of Interamna was the second St.
  • According to Prefect Placidus’s instructions, he was detained, scourged, and beheaded as well, and he was subjected to persecution once again under the reign of Emperor Claudius II.
  • Valentine was martyred in Africa around the fourth century.
  • All all, seven individuals, each of whom was known as St.
  • When it comes to the widespread rituals of demonstrating love and devotion on St.

When it came to choosing his spouse on Seynt Valentyne’s day, Chaucer wrote in his “Parliament of Foules” (in Old English): “For this was on Seynt Valentyne’s day, When every foul comethther to pick his mate.” The day was therefore designated as “lovers’ day” and encouraged the exchange of letters, presents, and other tokens of devotion.

Valentine’s day and every bird choosethhimself a mate, and if it like you to come on Thursday night, and makeprovision that you may abide until then, I trust to God that ye shall speak to my husband and I shall pray that we may bring the matter to a conclusion.” Another literary example of St.

I recommend myself to you, right reverend and worshipful, as well as my right well beloved Valentine, with a heartfelt wish to hear about your well-being, which I implore Almighty God to keep safe till His pleasure and your heart’s desire.” While discussing the romantic undertones of Valentine’s Day, no mention is made of St.

  • It appears that the exchange of “valentines” is the consequence of secular tradition, not the remembrance of St.
  • The love of our Lord, which is vividly expressed in the picture of His most Sacred Heart, is a love that is self-less, unconditional, and self-sacrificing.
  • Clearly, St.
  • On this Valentine’s Day, each individual should renew his or her love for the Lord, following in the footsteps of this great saint, for only in doing so can he or she truly love those who have been committed to his or her care, as well as any other neighbor.
  • Remember what Jesus said: “Never forget who you are.” “Love one another in the same way that I have loved you, is my mandate.

There is no greater love than this: to give one’s life for the sake of one’s companions ” (Jn 15:12-13). This mandate was carried out by St. Valentine, and we should strive to do the same.


a Reverend William Saunders “The Life and Times of Saint Valentine.” The Arlington Catholic Herald is a newspaper published in Arlington, Virginia. Unless otherwise stated, this piece is reproduced with permission from the Arlington Catholic Herald.

The Author

Pastor of Our Lady of Hope church in Potomac Falls, Virginia, Father William Saunders is a native of the United Kingdom. Currently, he serves as dean of Christendom College’s Notre Dame Graduate School. The preceding item is an excerpt from a “Straight Answers” column he wrote for the Arlington Catholic Herald in Arlington, Virginia. Straight Answers, a book based on 100 of Father Saunders’ columns, and Straight Answers II are among the books written by Father Saunders. Arlington Catholic Herald (Arlington, Virginia, 2003).

Who was Saint Valentine? And why was he beheaded?

Valentine’s Day was established in honor of St. Valentine, who has come to be renowned as the patron saint of romantic relationships. There is very little information available about him because he was a fairly mercurial person. Who was St. Valentine, and how did he come to be the patron saint of loves in the midst of the month of February? A cherubic Cupid and an elderly pious gentleman with a pleasant grin may easily occupy the position, according to one’s imagination. Of course, the truth is a little more convoluted.

  • There were three of them.
  • Saint Valentine of Rome and Saint Valentine of Terni were both Italian saints, but the third, Saint Valentine of North Africa, lived in a Roman province in North Africa.
  • That would be the story of Saint Valentine of Rome, who was killed on February 14th, despite the fact that he had been blessed with good fortune in love.
  • Nonetheless, it’s possible that the legends of numerous Valentines were blended into one since the Latin name ‘Valentius’ (which translates as “worthy,’ “strong, and powerful”) was a prominent appellation at the period.
  • The Catholic Church itself has certain reservations regarding what really occurred during Saint Valentine’s life.

Valentine as a martyr like those whose names are justly revered among men, but whose deeds are known only to God, as follows: “those whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God.” When Pope Gelasius I designated February 14th as the day to commemorate the life of Saint Valentine, he was well aware of how little was known about the saint.

  • Bart Zeitblom is the original artist (photo courtesy of Hulton Archive/Getty Images).
  • Valentine of Rome was reputedly a temple priest who was beheaded near Rome by the anti-Christian Emperor Claudius II, who was also known as the “Antichrist.” What was the crime?
  • Among the martyrs was St.
  • While the possibility exists that St.
  • Valentine of Rome were the same person, this has not been proven.
  • According to one historical narrative, the Roman Emperor went to such steps against Valentine because the saint sought to convert him to Christianity.
  • In response, the emperor ordered that the victim be assaulted with clubs and stones, and he was later killed.

Valentine is said to be interred at a cemetery in the northern part of the city of Rome, together with one or two other saints.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th.

When Pope Gelasius I consecrated February 14th to the saint and martyr Valentine, he did so in order to replace the ancient Roman feastLupercalia, which was a pagan celebration that was popular at the time, with the Christian feast.

The ancient fertility festival was distinguished by a slew of ceremonies, including foot races between nude men who were clothed in the skins of slaughtered goats.

The performance of another fertility ritual required a kid to pair couples at random who would then have to live together and be intimate for the entire following year in order to satisfy the fertility ceremony.

Valentine being designated as the patron saint of lovers.

As Benedictine monks expanded the celebration of St.

It is generally agreed that the poet Geoffrey Chaucer, in particular, is responsible for popularizing the concept of courtly romance via his poems, some of which are dedicated to St.

Writing ‘valentines’ to your significant other may be traced back to the same time period, with the first known example reaching back to the 15th century.

“I am already weary of love,My very kind Valentine,” Charles said in a letter to his wife, which was translated as “I am already sick of love,My very gentle Valentine.” Similarly, Shakespeare played a role in popularizing the association between Valentine’s Day and love, writing about St.

Exchange of “valentines” or love notes (often in the shape of hearts) on Valentine’s Day spread further throughout Anglo-Saxon countries in the nineteenth century.

Over the course of the twentieth century, this trend of commercialization of the holiday proceeded, particularly in the United States, by introducing new customs such as more complex love letters, along with accompanying presents like as chocolates, flowers, and jewelry.

In other words, while the actual St. Valentine was most likely tortured and executed on February 14th, his sacrifice for the Christian religion has resulted in the celebration of Valentine’s Day that we know and love today.

10 Facts About Saint Valentine

Valentine, a Roman priest who lived in the year 270, was stoned to death and then decapitated on February 14, 270. Saint Valentine’s Day was established on February 14th, 496, by Pope Gelasius in commemoration of his sacrifice. For hundreds of years, St. Valentine has been connected with romance, love, and devotion among men and women. Despite this, nothing is known about his existence – it is not even clear whether he was a single individual or a pair of individuals. Here are some interesting facts about the man who created Valentine’s Day.

1. He was a 3rd century Roman clergyman

According to most traditions, St. Valentine was a cleric — either a priest or a bishop – in the Roman Empire around the third century. He was killed somewhere about the year 270, during a widespread persecution of Christians. According to the 1493 edition of the ‘Nuremberg Chronicle,’ he was flogged with clubs and eventually executed for assisting Christians in Italy. According to ‘The Golden Legend’ of 1260, St. Valentine refused to reject Christ before the emperorClaudius II Gothicus(214-270), and as a result, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate.

2. He had the power of healing

According to one common narrative, St. Valentine was a previous bishop of Terni, which is located in central Italy. The two men discussed their various religious beliefs while each were placed under house arrest by Judge Asterius. St. Valentine was visited by Asterius, who brought his adopted blind daughter to him and requested him to assist her in seeing again. Valentine, who was praying to God, placed his hands on the kid’s eyes, and the youngster was able to see again. The judge was immediately humiliated and converted to Christianity, becoming baptized, and releasing all of his Christian captives, including Valentine, in the process.

The Road To Rome, a documentary narrated by Sir Ian McKellen, follows the trip of three historical fiction authors as they walk from Naples to Rome disguised as Roman soldiers in order to collect money for charity.

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3. “From Your Valentine” originates from a letter of his

Years after his release, Valentine was caught for evangelism once more and imprisoned before being handed over to Claudius II. Apparently, the emperor took a fancy to him, at least until Valentine attempted to persuade him to convert to Christianity. Valentine refused and was sentenced to death by Claudius, who demanded that he either forsake his religion or face the consequences of his actions.

A message to Asterius’ daughter was written on the day of his execution, and it was addressed to the kid whom he had healed of blindness and befriended. His signature on the letter was “from your Valentine,” according to mythology.

4. His skull is on display in Rome

In a later arrest for evangelism, Valentine was transported to Claudius II, where he remained for years after his release. Valentin attempted to persuade the Emperor to accept Christianity and it is stated that he was successful in doing so. When Valentine refused to surrender his religion, Claudius sentenced him to death, ordering him to either renounce his beliefs or die. A message to Asterius’ daughter was written on the day of his execution, and it was addressed to the kid who he had healed of blindness and befriended.

5. His blood was gifted by Pope Gregory XVI

In 1836, the Carmelite priest John Spratt received a gift from Pope Gregory XVI (1765-1846) that contained a “small jar stained” with the blood of St. Valentine. The gift was from Pope Gregory XVI (1765-1846). Thereafter, the gift was transported to the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, where it is still on display today. The church continues to be a popular destination for pilgrims, especially on St. Valentine’s Day, when individuals seeking love go to the chapel in droves.

6. He is the patron saint of epilepsy

St. Valentine’s sacramental responsibilities do not end with interceding for loving couples and marriages. As well as beekeepers and travelers, he is also the patron saint of epilepsy, the plague, fainting, and the occult.

7. He may have been two different people

Pope Gelasius I questioned St. Valentine’s identification as early as 496, referring to him and his actions as “known only to God.” He also referred to him and his actions as “known only to God.” The ‘Catholic Encyclopaedia’ and other hagiographical texts refer to three distinct Saint Valentines who occur in association with the 14th of February in different places. Valentine is described as a temple priest who was murdered in Rome for assisting Christian couples in their marriage according to one 15th century source.

While the two legends are similar, there was enough dispute about his identity that the Catholic Church decided to suspend liturgical worship of him in 1969.

8. There are actually many St. Valentines

In Late Antiquity, the name “Valentinus” – derived from the Latin wordvalens, which means “strong, honorable, and powerful” – became popular. The Roman Catholic Church commemorates around 11 more saints who have the name Valentine, or a variant thereof, in addition to St. Valentine. The most recent Valentine to be beautified was St. Valentine Berrio-Ochoa of Ellorio, Spain, who served as bishop in Vietnam until he was executed in 1861. He was the most recent Valentine to be beautified. There was also a Pope Valentine, who reigned for two months in 827 and was the first pope to do so.

The saint we commemorate on Valentine’s Day is formally known as St. Valentine of Rome, in order to distinguish him from the other St. Valentines who have also been commemorated. The Lupercalian Festival in Rome, created by the Adam Eisheimer Circle (photo courtesy of Christie’s).

9. His association with love began in the Middle Ages

Since the Middle Ages, St. Valentine’s Day has been connected with the tradition of courtly love and courtly courtship. According to popular belief, birds began mating in the middle of February. Every year during this time period, 14 February is commemorated as a day that brought lovers together, with the most lyrical reference being “the birds and the bees.” According to historians Alban Butler and Francis Douce from the 18th century, Valentine’s Day was most likely invented to supplant the pagan festival Lupercalia, which was celebrated on February 14th.

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10. Valentine’s Day may have been an invention by Chaucer

Prior to Chaucer’s ‘Parlement of Foules’, which was published in 1375, there is no concrete proof of the amorous celebrations that took place on 14 February. Using his poem, Chaucer linked the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day, when birds – and humans – gathered together to find a mate, to a tradition of courtly love that had existed for hundreds of years. The following is what he wrote:For this was sent on the day of Seynt Valentyne / When every vile cometh ther to pick his mate By the 1400s, nobility who had been influenced by Chaucer were penning poetry known as “valentines” to express their feelings for their love interests.

Who was St. Valentine? Did he die for love? Where are his bones? (Video)

St. Valentine’s Day is a religious holiday celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church on February 14th to commemorate the patron saint of loves. (Greg Garrison can be reached at [email protected]) According to Christian legend, St. Valentine served as a priest in the city of Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II. Claudio was having trouble recruiting enough recruits for his army, which he blamed to the fact that men were unwilling to leave their wives and kids. “He intended to broaden his dominion,” said the Rev.

  1. Valentine in its cathedral.
  2. As a result, he did not want them to tie the knot.” As a result, Claudius prohibited weddings and engagements.
  3. Valentine believed it was critical that sexuality be maintained within the confines of the sacrament of marriage as part of the new Christian religion that was being established.” Valentine ignored the ruling and proceeded to perform weddings despite the prohibition.
  4. According to Christian legend, he was put to death on February 14, around 269 A.D.
  5. Valentine died as a martyr in order to maintain the significance of love and marriage.
  6. A gift from Pope Gregory to a Carmelite friar in Dublin in 1836 resulted in the shipment of the bones of St.
  7. The church is a year-round destination for lovers who come to pray.
  8. Rather, they seek the blessing of St.

Valentine in the hopes that his blessing would ensure that they remain together – commitment, perseverance, constancy, and, above all, belief in the sacrament of matrimony.” Please keep in mind that if you purchase something after clicking on one of our affiliate links, we may receive a fee.

St. Valentine, the Real Story

Flowers, chocolates, red hearts, and romance are all on the menu. That is, after all, what Valentine’s Day is all about, isn’t it? Perhaps this isn’t the case. The origins of this festival dedicated to the expression of love aren’t very romantic, at least not in the usual meaning of the word. Irish priest Father Frank O’Gara of Whitefriars Street Church in Dublin explains how St. Valentine came to be, as told by the man who inspired the celebration. During that historical period, Father O’Gara adds, “he was a Roman priest serving under an emperor named Claudias, who was actively persecuting the church at the time.” “He also issued an order prohibiting the marriage of minors under the age of twenty-one.

  • “In comparison to a couple of women and one guy living together, polygamy would have been far more common.
  • However, it is clear that the church believed that marriage was extremely holy between a man and a woman for the rest of their lives and that it should be encouraged.
  • And, as a result of the injunction, he secretly married both of them.” Emperor Claudius the second ordered Valentine to perform marriage rituals against the orders of the Emperor, and he was finally apprehended, imprisoned, and tortured.
  • “In accordance with Roman law at the time, a man named Asterius, who had a blind daughter, was one of the men who would adjudicate him in accordance with the law.
  • Asterius’ daughter, according to legend, was the recipient of his final words, which were written in a letter.
  • “”What Valentine represents to me as a priest is that there comes a point when you have to put your life on the line for what you believe in,” Father O’Gara continues.
  • Valentine’s bones are said to be interred in Whitefriars Street Church, which is one of three churches that claim to be where they are.
  • “Valentine has earned the title of “patron saint of loves” over the years.
  • And, as we all know, many people, particularly in the modern world, are coming to know God through his Son, Jesus Christ.” ” If Valentine were still alive today, he would tell married couples that there would come a moment when they will have to endure hardship together.
  • Don’t be shocked if the ‘gushing’ love you have for someone evolves into something less “gushing” but maybe lot more mature in the near future.

“Human love and sexuality are great and blessed by God, but they are also accompanied by the shadow of the cross. That is exactly what Valentine represents to me.”

Valentine’s Day Has Shockingly Dark Origins

Getty Images is a print collector. Valentine’s Day has come to be associated with a 24-hour period during which we may express our love and admiration for someone special through the exchange of pink hearts, chocolates, red flowers, and, perhaps most importantly, the sending of a traditional Valentine’s Day greeting card. And while the annual Valentine’s Day celebration may be one of the most candy-filled days of the year, the actual origins of the holiday may not be quite so sweet. The festival of Valentine’s Day has its roots in a pagan fertility ceremony, but it has developed over centuries of martyrs, religious politics, beheadings, and industrialisation to become the occasion we today identify with love and affection—and even sweetheart sweets.

Roman Beginnings

While the actual roots of Valentine’s Day are still up in the air, some historians believe that the Ancient Roman festival Lupercalia, which took place from February 13 to 15, was the holiday’s first iteration, according to historians. During the celebrations, Roman priests slaughtered a goat and a dog, whipping women with strips of the animals’ skins drenched in blood in the idea that this would make them more fruitful. Among the ritual’s other features was a matchmaking session, during which bachelors selected the names of their “sweethearts” from an urn.

Photographs courtesy of Getty Images

Will the Real Saint Valentine Please Stand Up?

There have been at least three separate martyred Saint Valentines honored by the Catholic Church, making it difficult to pinpoint the real-life individual who was responsible for the day’s celebration. However, according to popular tradition, the Roman Emperor Claudius II killed one, Saint Valentine of Terni, on February 14, circa 278 A.D., during his reign as emperor. What was his crime? Despite the fact that Claudius II forbade marriage in order to encourage men to serve in the war, Valentine continued to perform marriage rituals in secret.

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Making It Official

Pope Gelasius decreed February 14 to be the First Feast Day of Saint Valentine in 496 A.D., making it the first known celebration of the saint. It is still up for question whether this was just a gesture of respect for a Saint, or whether it was part of a larger strategy to Christianize the nasty pagan festival of Lupercalia. Pope Gelasius, courtesy of Getty Images

Courtly Love

It’s only natural that a great poet would be the one to associate Valentine’s Day to feelings of love and passion in the first place. Geoffrey Chaucer said in the 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules,” “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to pick his mate,” that “every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.” Following in their footsteps were others such as William Shakespeare, and it wasn’t long before the practice of giving handcrafted cards and mementos became widespread in England.

The oldest known Valentine, which dates back to 1415, was delivered to the wife of Charles, Duke of Orleans when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London by the Duke of Orleans.

Love in Full Bloom

The practice of gifting flowers to loved ones on Valentine’s Day arose in the 17th century when King Charles II ofSweden pushed “the language of flowers”, or assigning particular meanings to different sorts of flowers, throughout Europe. Because of its link with Aphrodite, the goddess of love in Greek mythology, the rose has become the most traditional flower for Valentine’s Day celebrations. Since then, the habit has flourished with the National Retail Federation estimating that $2 billion was spent on Valentine’s Day flowers each year.

Photograph by Huyen Nguyen / EyeEmGetty Images

Mass Market

Through the nineteenth century, the celebration of Valentine’s Day rapidly rose in popularity—especially after the greeting-card business was in full swing, thanks to the Industrial Revolution’s printing press and lower postage rates—and it is still growing today. Esther A. Howland (also known as the “Mother of the Valentine”) began selling the first mass-produced cards in America in the 1840s, and Hallmark Cards joined the market in 1913, becoming the world’s largest manufacturer of greeting cards.

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Greeting card for Valentine’s Day from the 1920’s.

‘Galentine’s Day’

Although the term ‘Galentine’s Day’ was originated by the television program Parks and Recreation, it has now evolved into a real-life extension of Valentine’s Day, which is observed on February 13th each year. With Galentine’s Day serving as a day for women to express their gratitude for the platonic female friendships that are filled with love and support, the holiday’s popularity has grown in recent years. This can be attributed to female empowerment movements and the increased importance that younger generations place on their friendships in addition to their romantic relationships and family obligations.

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Who was Saint Valentine? A history of the figure’s origins

Valentine’s Day is celebrated over the world, and almost everyone in the English-speaking world is aware of it. Chocolates, flowers, and jewelry are all more popular on February 14 than on any other day of the year, with only Christmas greeting cards being purchased in greater quantities. Among Catholics, Valentine is still revered as the patron saint of engaged couples, happy marriages, love and lovers, among other things. However, having a patron saint of love and lovers is not precisely in keeping with Christian philosophy, which has long emphasized the benefits of self-denial as a source of happiness.

As a result, a saint who endorses the sharing of chocolates and kisses between lovers appears to be of questionable theological standing. How did this saint come to be known as the “impresario of sweethearts” and where did he get his start?

  • Watching historical films with leading ladies in love is a great way to spend Valentine’s Day.

Who was Saint Valentine?

Depending on which source you consult (Wikipedia, Catholic Encyclopedia, or more popular digital publications such asBuzzfeed and History.com), you will learn that Valentine lived in the third century, served as either a priest or a bishop in Rome, and was imprisoned by the Roman emperor for being a Christian during a time when Christianity was still considered illegal. The performance of marriage ceremonies for Christian lovers, according to Catholic news sites; however, others report that Valentine transported communications between incarcerated Christians and, before being killed, left a note to a young woman marked “your Valentine.” Upon more investigation and examination of the ancient texts, another Valentine is discovered.

  1. Christians and others liked the term because it conveys the idea of being powerful or deserving of respect.
  2. One of them was a general sent to Africa.
  3. We don’t have any further information on him.
  4. In the second place, there was Bishop Valentinus of Terni, which is about 70 miles northeast of Rome, and in the third place, there was a Roman priest.
  5. The bishop of Terni, according to his hagiographer who lived in the fifth or sixth century, was invited to Rome somewhere in the 260s to treat the sick son of Craton, a rhetor who ran a school and hosted visiting Greek intellectuals.
  6. However, when Bishop Valentine came, he immediately attempted to persuade Craton to become a Christian.
  7. His question was, “How can water, which cleanses dirt from the body, wash away sins?” he said.

If Valentine was able to heal the kid, Craton’s entire family would become Christians.

Chaeremon seemed to be in good health the next morning.

When the Roman senate learned of Valentine’s activities, they swiftly imprisoned him, beaten him, and then beheaded him as punishment.

Unfortunately, Roman troops apprehended and executed them, as well as their companions.

He was the third of the Valentini.

According to legend, anything the priest Valentinus did to anger the authorities resulted in him being brought before Claudius, where he used the chance to preach.

Without a second’s hesitation, Valentine began preaching as soon as he walked through the door, expounding on Christ’s role as the light of the world.

Valentine placed his hands over the girl’s eyes and prayed that she would be able to see the truth.

Valentine began baptizing everyone in his immediate vicinity, resulting in the conversion of 44 members of Asterius’ household to Christianity.

Claudius, on the other hand, quickly discovered the truth and imprisoned them all. Valentine was beheaded, along with numerous other people who became known as martyrs as a result of their actions.

Valentine tourism

None of the three Valentine’s biographies were written before the fifth century, which means they were written at least 200 years after any of the saints were said to have lived. In the pre-medieval period, there is no written or physical evidence that any of these Valentines were associated with love or romantic partners. The term ‘amor,’ which is Latin for ‘love,’ does not exist anywhere in the writings. Even while advocating their God, the two most well-known Valentines avoided using the words “affection” and instead used the words “faith” and “illumination.” Instead, they became well-known in succeeding ages for healing individuals who, like Chaeremon, suffered from “falling illness,” sometimes known as epilepsy, as a result of their work.

  1. Religious pilgrims visited the graves of martyrs, praying for the saints’ assistance in illness and for their intercession with God.
  2. Thousands of people gathered to pay their respects to the Roman Valentine, who was allegedly interred in a vault at the place of his execution, on the Via Flaminia just outside the city walls of Rome.
  3. They began referring to the city gate as Valentine’s Gate after Valentine’s Day (today it is known as the Porta del Populo.) Excavations at the site in the nineteenth century uncovered tombs dating back to the fourth and fifth centuries, as well as pieces etched with Valentine’s name.
  4. Throughout the European Middle Ages, Valentine was neither more or less popular than other old Roman martyrs, and this was true throughout the world.
  5. Medieval authors occasionally confused their Valentines, attributing the marvels of one to the wonders of another.

Saintly ‘promotion’

Eventually, some medieval historians were wary of the obvious similarities between the accounts of the bishop and the priest, and they began to question their own assumptions. He and his companions were well aware that, as the empire waned, Rome had deteriorated into a devastated heap of broken, nameless tombs, from which anybody might claim the bones of a “martyr.” Bishops and abbots hungry for relics did not always perform adequate authentication on the bones of people, the shreds of blood-soaked fabric, and the other things pulled out of crypts and carried northward as relics, as evidenced by the following: Hagiographers took advantage of the situation by revising saints’ tales in order to publicize the existence of relics in their churches.

  • As late as the 11th century, when Valentine’s skull was discovered in Roquemaure and displayed there on Valentine’s feast day every year, one Breton bishop wrote down the long list of miracles that had increased the saint’s renown.
  • In addition to the bone in Prague (SS.
  • No indication could be found in the inscriptions on the reliquaries that held his bones, nor in the sculptures or artworks that depicted him as a lover.
  • Valentine was frequently seen bending over epileptic or plague victims in early printed books from the 16th century.

Other scenes showed excited executioners slicing off his head with their machetes. The saint did not appear to be sending messages or marrying lovers in any of the images. Valentine himself looked to be more harsh than he appeared to be amorous.

Chaucer’s patron of love

Modern literary academics attribute Valentine’s transformation into the patron saint of love to one man: Geoffrey Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales and other poetry works, according to modern literary experts. During the negotiations for Richard II’s marriage to Anne of Bohemia in 1380, Chaucer’s Parlement of Foules, an allegorical tale thought to have been written during the negotiations for Richard II’s marriage to Anne of Bohemia, mentioned “seynt Volantynys day/ When euery bryd comyth there to chese his make,” according to scholars.

  1. It is possible that Chaucer read the hagiographies of Valentine in their local English translations.
  2. Chaucer, on the other hand, was the one who invented the love link.
  3. Chaucer’s literary associates were among the first to do so in print, according to the New York Times.
  4. Christine de Pizan, writing in her novelDit de la Rose, detailed how French knights founded a mythical Order of the Rose on Saint Valentine’s Day, a tradition that continues to this day.

Featured image courtesy of Time Life Pictures, Mansell, The LIFE Picture Collection, and Getty Images Leigh Schmidt, a religious studies expert, has stated that Valentine, who died on 14 February, continues to be significant to churchgoers and individuals who suffer from epilepsy as a martyr (‘The Fashioning of a Modern Holiday,’ Winterthur Portfolio28:4).

William Shakespeare and Valentine’s cards

Aristocratic circles and folk custom both contributed to the rise of Valentine as a patron of love and lovers in the centuries following the Christian era. Poets such as William Shakespeare and John Donne carried on Chaucer’s practice of using Valentine and Valentine’s Day as symbols of love, as did other writers such as Shakespeare and Donne. Others exchanged presents as they were writing poetry in celebration of the festival.

Across the country, men and women gathered on Valentine’s Day to celebrate and participate in activities such as drawing lots for Valentine’s Day sweethearts and divination, which included conjuring up the identity of one’s future spouse.

By the nineteenth century, English consumers were ready and anxious for Valentine’s cards that already had poetry printed on them, and that were preferably embellished with love birds, hearts, and Cupid (rather than the image of a headless Roman bishop). “It is both natural and proper,” wrote the London Journal of 1858, that at the start of spring, “the predominating sentiment in the human mind should be the sentiment of love; and it is to this end that the anniversary of our saint is directed.” Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th every year.

the manufacture of mercenaries for hire,” the journal favoured home-made greeting cards.

  • Read more:9 unexpectedly gloomy Valentine’s Day cards from the past that are lewd, frightening, and offensive

Ancient explanations

The evidence supporting Chaucer’s change of the holiday is overwhelming, yet some researchers have continued to look for historical roots for Valentine’s Day’s current connotations with love and romance despite this. When historians searched the records of ancient history for evidence of celebrations around mid-February in the 19th century, they came up empty-handed. A celebration related with Faunus or Pan, Lupercalia, was discovered on the Ides of February, and it was celebrated with a carnival that year (15 February.) During the Roman Empire’s early years, colleges and clubs of young noblemen sacrificed goats and dogs on an altar in the cave where, according to mythology, Romulus and Remus, the city’s founders, were suckled by a legendary she-wolf.

  • According to legend, the young men also drew lots for their sexual partners.
  • Other modern researchers have placed the blame on Emperor Claudius, who is said to have prohibited young males from marrying in the third century.
  • Valentine’s heroic history is shown in this rendition of the saint’s life as he bravely defied the emperor and married Christian couples.
  • These ideas for Valentine’s Day are significantly more popular than the ‘Chaucer Theory,’ which has been around for a long time.

Mainstream digital publications purporting to unveil the “actual tale of the genuine Saint Valentine” give stories that are quite similar to these (albeit those authors who go as far as Wikipedia acknowledge Chaucer’s influence on their work.) That modern celebrants have selected Cupid, the Greco-Roman deity of passionate love, as one of the day’s key emblems, given that Saint Valentine was beheaded, is ironic.

Stripped of saintly status

Unfortunately, Valentine’s rewritten legend is said to have resulted in his loss of saintly rank in the current Catholic church as a result. Valentine was removed off the Catholic Church’s global calendar of saints in 1969 due to a lack of historical evidence supporting his tale. The veneration of the patron saint of epilepsy is still permissible for Catholics if they so want, although it is not a requirement within the Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar. Fans of Saint Valentine are free to spend their time picking cards and presents for their loved ones, just as the rest of the world is, however some believers have found a method to honor their patron saint while still participating in the celebration of love.

“Dear Valentine,” says the narrator.

“Saint Valentine, might I perhaps see Annabelle again?” another person begs (Irish Times, 8 February 2014).

None of us knows exactly what happened in late antiquity, or who Valentine (or Valentines) was (or were), or why Christians began to worship him in the first place.

According to the MailOnline (13 February 2017), a Brazilian forensic scientist utilized photographs of a skull piece held at Santa Maria in Cosmedin to rebuild the face of Saint Valentine.

Lisa Bitel is Dean’s Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California, as well as a professor of religion and history at the same institution (USC).

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