Saturday, 14 February 2015

St Valentine - 14 February

St Valentine's Day

Who was St Valentine?

There are two and they are both honoured on 14 February: St Valentine, martyred priest of Rome and St Valentine of Terni, martyred Bishop of Interamna (now Terni in Umbria).

The flower-crowned skull of Saint Valentine of Rome is on display in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. 

St Valentine of Terni was martyred in the persecution under Emperor Aurelian and is buried on the Via Flaminia, Rome but his relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni.
There is a third St Valentine whose head was once preserved in the abbey of New Minster, Winchester, England.
The Novus Ordo Missae Calendar of Blessed Paul VI no longer remembers him but the traditional Roman rite Calendar of course still does because traditionalists are romantic and the new rite is dull.

The Eastern Orthodox Church observes the feast of both saints.
David Teniers III (Flemish School). St Valentine receives a chaplet from the Blessed Virgin. 17th century.
St Valentine of Rome was a priest of Rome who was imprisoned for succouring persecuted Christians. It is said by St Bede that he was interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person.

Claudius was impressed by St Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life.

St Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed.

Before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing Julia, the blind daughter of his jailer Asterius. The jailer's daughter and his forty-four member household (family members and servants) converted and were received into the Church. 

It is also said that, on the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he wrote the first "valentine" card himself, addressed to the daughter of his jailer Asterius, who was no longer blind, signing the note as "Your Valentine".
St Valentine of Terni
St Valentine of Terni is said to have performed clandestine Christian weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry.
The Roman Emperor Claudius II is said to have forbidden this practice preferring his soldiers to be unmarried believing that married men were not the best as soldiers. 

According to legend, in order to remind the soldiers of their vows, Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment, giving them to the soldiers and others.
It is also said that St Valentine was imprisoned for presiding at the weddings of soldiers and for ministering to Christians, then under imperial ban.
Ever after, St Valentine has become associated with romantic love.
Geoffrey Chaucer, medieval English poet, praised him as a symbol of the tradition of courtly love.
Happy St Valentine's Day.
St Valentine, pray for us!
Eastern icon of St Valentine



Anonymous said...

Thank you for this most interesting post Tribunus - explaining that there are no less that three 'Valentines" becoming part of the original association of St. Valentine with romantic love!! Most people are totally ignorant of this, and with the link of 'love' to true Christian 'marriage' through St. Valentine of Terni.


Tribunus said...

My pleasure Kathleen - especially if you are Kathleen from CP&S!


Anonymous said...

Yes I am. :-) And a fervent admirer of your magnificent blog.


Tribunus said...

Thanks, Kathleen! :-)