Monday, February 14, 2005

St. Valentine's Day

I tried to find the best story of St. Valentine's Day. Here's the most popular story I found on the net:

St Valentine's Day was supposedly started in the time of the Roman Empire. In Ancient Rome, the date of February 14 was a holiday to honor the Queen of Roman Goddesses and Gods, Juno. Juno was known as the Goddess of women and marriage. The next day February 15 was the first day of the Festival known as the Feast of Lupercia.

On February 14 is was said that the young boys and girls of the villages would write down the names of every girl and place these names in a jar of which each young man would have to draw a name of a girl and this particular maiden would be their partner for the duration of the festival. Sometimes these parings would last a year and end up in marriage.

These rituals under the laws of Claudius were banned as the Emperor believed that the reasons why men would now go to war were because they did not want to leave their lovers or families. As a result all marriages and engagements were canceled as a result Saint Valentine a Roman priest was said to have married these couples in secret and for this he was executed on the 14th day of February.

While St Valentine was in jail it is said that he fell in love with the jailers daughter. By a miracle or some say by the prayers of Valentine she gained her sight and as a last farewell in a note he was to "From Your Valentine".


UPDATE I - Jun. 5, 2006

The Tidings report:

The man behind Feb. 14, when lovers around the world exchange cards and gifts, has been largely forgotten on his own feast day.

Such little significance is attached to the memory of St. Valentine that even in the Spanish capital of Madrid in 2005 only a handful of people visited the Church of St. Anton, where what is believed to be his skeleton is kept on a side altar in a glass-fronted baroque case.
At least one St. Valentine existed, as evident from third-century Roman cults. The "Roman Martyrology" mentions two St. Valentines, one a priest and one a bishop. Both were put to death on the Flaminian Way on a Feb. 14 between 269 and 273, although some scholars have argued that the cults point to the saints being the same person.

The relics in Madrid are said to be those of the bishop of Terni, Italy, who was just 20 years old when he was consecrated by St. Felician of Foligno, Italy, in 197 on the orders of Pope Victor I. For 73 years, this St. Valentine built up his diocese in the face of persecution: preaching, tending to the sick and visiting Christians jailed for refusing to renounce their faith.


He continues to be a mystery.


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