Saturday, February 13, 2016

Saint Valentine and Valentine's Day

By Anton Antonio
February 14, 2016

Aside from birthdays and Christmas, the other more anticipated event in everyone’s life is Valentine’s Day.  But what exactly is Valentine’s Day?  Why is Valentine associated with falling in love romantically?

Here are researched materials on Valentine’s Day and Saint Valentine…

“Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is an annual holiday celebrated on February 14.  It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honouring one or more early saints named Valentinus and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.  Several martyrdom stories associated with various Valentines that were connected to February 14 were added to later martyrologies, including a popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome which indicated he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire.  According to legend, during his imprisonment, Saint Valentine healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius, and before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.  The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.  In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”).  In Europe, Saint Valentine’s Keys are given to lovers “as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart”, as well as to children, in order to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine’s Malady).  Valentine’s Day symbols that are used today include heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid.  Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.  Saint Valentine’s Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as the Lutheran Cgurch.  Many parts of the Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day, albeit on July 6 and July 30, the former date in honor of the Roman presbyter Saint Valentine, and the latter date in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni).”  (Wikipedia)

“Saint Valentine, officially Saint Valentine of Rome, is a widely recognized third-century Roman saint commemorated on February 14 and associated since the High Middle Ages with a tradition of courtly love.  All that is reliably known of the saint commemorated on February 14 is his name and that he was martyred and buried at a cemetery on the Via Flaminia close to the Milvian bridge to the north of Rome on that day.  It is uncertain whether St. Valentine is to be indentified as one saint or the conflation of two saints of the same name.  Several different martyrologies have been added to later hagiographies that are unreliable.  Because so little is known to him, in 1969 the Roman Catholic Church removed his name from the General Roman Calendar, leaving his liturgical celebration to local calendars.  The Roman Catholic Church continues to recognize him as a saint, listing him as such in the February 14 entry in the Roman Martyrology and authorizing liturgical veneration of him on February 14 in any place where that day is not devoted to some other obligatory celebration in accordance with the rule that on such a day the Mass may be that of any saint listed in the Martyrology for that day.  Use of the pre-1970 liturgical calendar is also authorized under the conditions indicated in the motu propio Summorum Pontificum of 2007.  Saint Valentine’s Church in Rome, built in 1960 for the needs of the Olympic Village, continues as a modern, well-visited parish church.” (Wikipedia)

One thing for certain in life, aside from death, is falling in love.  And an integral part of falling in love is Saint Valentine and Valentine’s Day.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Wikipedia, (2016).  “Valentine’s Day”.  Retrieved on February 14, 2016 from

Wikipedia, (2016).  “Saint Valentine”.  Retrieved on February 14, 2016 from

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