St. Valentine: Patron of Love

For most of the people this age, St. Valentine does not exist. Valentine’s Day celebration, gifts and dates exist but not the saint that celebrates his feast on February 14. But is there really a St. Valentine?

According to some of the articles I read, February 14 is actually the feast day celebration of a certain St. Valentine. However, the life of this saint remains to be obscured since there are actually three saints who share the same name.

Most popular among them is St. Valentinus, a priest jailed during persecution of Claudius.

“The first representation of Saint Valentine appeared in a The Nuremberg Chronicle, a great illustrated book printed in 1493. [Additional evidence that Valentine was a real person: archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine.] Alongside a woodcut portrait of him, text states that Valentinus was a Roman priestmartyred during the reign of Claudius the Goth [Claudius II]. Since he was caught marryingChristian couples and aiding any Christians who were being persecuted under Emperor Claudius in Rome [when helping them was considered a crime], Valentinus was arrested and imprisoned. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner — until Valentinus made a strategic error: he tried to convert the Emperor — whereupon this priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that didn’t do it, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate [circa 269].”*

St. Valentine is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers, young people. He is represented in pictures with birds and roses.

Sources:

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=159

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